Television Asia's Executive News
11 December 2006

Japan achieves nationwide digital reach

Japan – All 47 prefectures in Japan can now receive digital terrestrial broadcasts, completing the switch that started in December 2003 with Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya metro areas. Eight prefectures in Kyushu were the last areas to be converted.

The milestone was marked by a ceremony in Tokyo attended by government officials, celebrities and broadcasting execs. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe voiced his government’s continued support of the switch to digital broadcasting.

Although 84% of Japan’s 47 million TV households (39.5 million) can receive terrestrial digital signals, many have yet to commit to the more expensive digital sets. Japan is expected to complete the transition to digital broadcasting by July 2011.


Distraction deals You Be the Judge to US

Singapore – Asian format You Be the Judge, produced by Singaporean Robert Chua and originating in Hong Kong, has been sold to the US by Distraction. Produced by New Line, the show will air on CBS. Also placed in Europe, the reality dilemma format airs civil disputes in a studio. Under the guidance of lawyers, a plaintiff and a defendant present their evidence before handing over the case to the public to judge.


Fremantle Archive Sales secures Caldecott HD titles

Singapore — Fremantle Archive Sales, the clip sales division of FremantleMedia, has nabbed worldwide representation rights for a raft of Asian HD documentaries from MediaCorp's Caldecott Productions International. Among the titles covered by the deal are Fagin and Oliver – The Asian Twist, Tribal Sex (Indian and Yunnan), Voiceless Art, The Alternative Earth (Delhi Air) and The Skinheads of Asia.


CNBC launches

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – CNBC launched the new website on December 4, providing 24-hour business and financial news and analysis. The website complements CNBC’s live cable television coverage by leveraging the resources of its global network.

Business videos are produced in its new digital studio in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Asian headquarters in Singapore, Europe headquarters in London and bureaus worldwide, and are streamed live and on-demand. also hosts blogs organized across industry sectors by CNBC anchors and reporters. Its ‘Play-by Play’ blog recaps in real time television segments and provides additional videos, charts and related links.

CNBC Plus gives users access to live real-time streams of CNBC’s Business Day programming in the US, Europe and Asia.


India’s Gemini TV and Udaya TV to merge with Sun TV

India – Satellite television company Gemini TV and Udaya TV, excluding the FM radio division, will merge with Indian broadcaster Sun TV, giving it a dominant position in south India.

As the owner of four Tamil channels and two Malayalam channels, Sun TV adds Gemini’s five channels and Udaya’s four, which earned revenues of Rs1.75 billion (US$39 million) and $21 million respectively, for the year ending March 31.


NDS acquires Jungo Ltd. and launches office in Mumbai

London / Mumbai – NDS, provider of technology solutions for digital pay TV, announced December 4 the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Jungo Ltd, a residential gateway software provider, for up to US$107.5 million cash. That includes $17 million of earnout payment, contingent on achieving fiscal targets for the 12 months following the deal’s completion next March.

The deal sees Jungo bringing its experience in embedded software for home networks and IP service delivery devices; faster introduction of new end-to-end solutions for converging broadcast/broadband markets; and opportunities for NDS to promote its Synamedia IPTV system offerings via Jungo’s market presence in major telcos.

Also announced on the same day was NDS opening a sales and support operation in Mumbai following its five year R&D operations in Bangalore. Dr. Abe Peled, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDS Group, said the Mumbai office recognized the readiness of the Indian market for wide-scale deployment of digital pay TV.

NDS’s end-to-end systems currently support the Tata Sky DTH service, Hathway Cable and Datacom digital cable TV operations in India.