Japanese commercial broadcasters join forces in a project to transmit programs on the Internet that could lead to shows being simultaneously streamed on smartphones and broadcast to TV sets.
The company, called JOCDN Inc., is a joint venture established by Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ) and Nippon Television Network Corp. in December 2016. Since then JOCDN has secured the participation of the 14 other broadcasters.
The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications wants to begin simulcasting TV programs over the Internet and to TV sets in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games.
The current Broadcast Law limits the extent to which Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) can broadcast simultaneously, but the ministry is considering a legal revision to allow the public broadcaster to begin simultaneous transmission from 2019.
The 14 broadcasters joining JOCDN will contribute an additional 600 million yen ($5.4 million) or so in capital, raising the total capital to 710 million yen.
Currently, many commercial broadcasters use the video streaming service provided by Akamai Technologies Inc. While those broadcasters now pay fees for the service, they could reduce expenses if they were jointly involved in developing a "Made in Japan" system.