NHK aims to begin simultaneous streaming, with gov't approval
Japan Today -- Jul 14
A government panel gave the green light Friday for public broadcaster NHK to start simultaneous online streaming of its television programs amid surging popularity of streaming video services.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry's panel said in a draft report that the plan for simulcasting service is "appropriate," with NHK aiming to start it in fiscal 2019.

The ministry plans to submit a bill covering the necessary revision to the broadcast law, which prohibits simultaneous streaming on grounds of potential negative influence on the business of private TV networks. Disaster reports and live sports coverage are considered among the few exceptions for simultaneous streaming under the current law.

The report also stipulates that management reforms of NHK to improve compliance as well as a review of the current system for collecting subscription fees are mandatory for the start of simulcasting service.

With more people watching TV programs on their cell phones or the internet these days, there is an ongoing debate whether these people should pay the subscription fee to NHK or not, in some cases bringing it to court.

Under the Japanese law, people who install a TV receiver are obliged to sign a subscription contract with NHK.

News source: Japan Today
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