J:Com buys control of sports chnls

Japanís Jupiter Telecommunications (J:Com) is buying another 36.4% of sports broadcaster J Sports Broadcasting Corporation (JSB), lifting its holding to 69.8%. The broadcaster will become a consolidated subsidiary of J:Com on October 1.

JSB is Japanís largest sports channel with 7.645 million subscribers and its subscription revenue is the largest in the countryís thematic channel industry. Four channels are operated: J sports ESPN, J sports 1, J sports 2, and J sports Plus. Rights held include domestic and international soccer (including the English Premier League and Japanís J-League), Major League Baseball and Japanese professional baseball. The channels broadcast on cable, satellite and via IPTV networks.

Sellers are Itochu Corporation (15%), Broadmedia Corporation (10.7%) and Sony Broadcast Media (10.7%). Financial terms were not disclosed.

J:Com, which is Japanís largest MSO and channel operator, said that by integrating JSB as a consolidated subsidiary ďwe will use all of our resources, including our broad customer base, to promote production and planning of programs that are appealing to viewers. We will also aim to integrate operations with other channel operators in our group, strengthen our competitiveness in the sports thematic broadcasting universe, raise brand awareness, and increase our ability to source attractive program content. In the medium- to long-term, through improved attractiveness of the programs, we aim to expand the multichannel pay television market and enhance our corporate value.Ē