Japan On-Demand

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Video-on-demand is coming to the “Land of the Rising Sun.”

MSO Jupiter Programming Co. Ltd. (JPC), broadband and cable provider Jupiter Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (J-COM Broadband), Sumitomo Corp. and Liberty Media International Inc. said Thursday that they will create a new company, Jupiter VOD Co. Ltd. (J-VOD), which will be a national aggregator for VOD content and offer a platform-neutral service to distributors throughout Japan.

The companies said J-VOD will be a full-service operation, defining the on-demand product offering, negotiating with rights owners and encoding and distributing content to each platform's master headend.

Content will include Japanese and Western movie titles, as well as other shorter-form programming, the companies said, all of which may be offered individually or as part of a subscription and/or free on-demand service.

Platform operators will be responsible for server management, sales promotion and billing.

Toru Araki, most recently president of Sumitomo subsidiary Crossbeam, a distributor of hardware for cable systems, will be J-VOD’s CEO. Andrew Shaw, currently director of strategic development for JPC, was named executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Ownership of J-VOD is: JPC (48%), J-COM Broadband (32%), Sumitomo (10%) and Liberty (10%).