Thursday, September 29, 2005

New pro-football television network in Japan

J Sports, a three-channel sports television network in which Jupiter Programming Co is an investor through its Jupiter Sports Inc, is to merge with Sports-i, a network affiliated with ESPN, from 1 November, creating a total of four cable and satellite sports channels with a combined subscriber base of 6.5 million. The merged company's name will be J Sports Broadcasting Corporation.

"In addition to combining the significant content of both organizations, we intend to use our joint resources to improve and upgrade the appeal of our programs," said J Sports president Masayoshi Takaba, as quoted by Soccer Investor (29 September 2005). "Four channels with sports 24 hours a day is by far the most significant sports offering in Japan, not only in the cable and satellite universe, but in any form of television. We aim to be the clear market leader in Japan."

The group's core programming will continue to be international football and domestic football. The former will feature more than 460 live events a year, including the domestic J League as well as exclusive Bundesliga, French League, and Scottish League games, plus selected weekly live matches from Premier League, South American Leagues and Champions League, along with the Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona Club Channels.

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