Japanese entertainment channel JET TV has succumbed to
Asia's recession, and it will close down its regional feed by June 30. But the
two-year-old service's popularity in Taiwan means that it will continue to run on the
island's cable-TV systems.
Junichi Ueda, JET TV's managing director and CEO, said
in a prepared statement, "Limitations in subscription revenue and slow growth in
advertising revenue" had led the channel's shareholders to agree to shut it
"We deemed it extremely difficult to continue the
business on the existing basis," Ueda added.
His assistant, Jun Kitasako, said Taiwanese minority
shareholder Satellite Entertainment Communications Co. Ltd. (SEC) will manage JET TV
It is understood that two more minority shareholders --
Taiwanese channel distributor and MSO Rebar and conglomerate China Trust's TV arm,
Videoland -- will distribute JET TV into nearly 5 million cable TV homes.
Kitasako added that the Taiwanese channel will feature the
JET TV name and logo. It will have access to programming from the principal owners of JET
TV: Tokyo Broadcasting Systems, Sumitomo Corp., Jupiter Programming and Manichi
A Taipei, Taiwan-based source said JET TV was among the
market's top 20 channels in terms of advertising revenue.
Figures released to a Taiwanese media magazine showed that
the network's December advertising revenue was $360,000, meaning an estimated annual
take of $4.32 million. This figure is set to grow by 30 percent in 1999, according to JET
TV's advertising-sales team.
"The Taiwanese are very enthusiastic about what's
happening. JET TV is popular, and now, they can program it to mirror local program
tastes," the source said.
Hong Kong's Cable TV, which began carrying JET TV last
March, said the channel confirmed that it was ceasing transmissions earlier this month.
Cable TV external-affairs director Garmen Chan said his company was now looking for an