Japanese networks join forces for streaming project

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 21 July 2015

The five leading commercial TV networks in Japan are combining their might to launch a catch-up video service called TVer this October, coinciding with Netflix's arrival to the local market.

Nippon Television Network, TV Asahi, TBS TV, TV Tokyo and Fuji Television Network will each supply TVer with ten shows a week, and each episode will be available free to viewers for seven days, thanks to advertising.

The announcement comes just weeks after a consortium of Japanese entertainment companies, broadcasters and industry bodies formed the Japan Contents Group to launch an online video-on-demand (VOD) service called Bonobo in the autumn.

As well as TVer and Netflix, Bonobo will face competition from existing over-the-top (OTT) services from Hulu, Gyao, Unext, and video services from mobile operators SoftBank, NTT Docomo and KDDI.