NBC Universal Inc. and Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd. have signed an agreement for NBC Universal to acquire Jupiter Telecommunications' subsidiary company JSBC2, and launch Sci Fi Channel on J:COM.
Under the terms of the agreement, NBC Universal will acquire 100% of the equity of Jupiter Telecommunications' subsidiary company JSBC2, which currently holds the broadcasting license for Reality TV on the SkyperfecTV platform in Japan. The deal is expected to close in April 2008.
Building on JSBC2 and its current TV operations on the SkyPerfecTV platform and carriage agreement with J:COM as a basis, NBC Universal's Global Networks division plans to launch Sci Fi Channel -- the #4 entertainment network in the U.S. cable TV market -- in Japan in the Spring of 2008.
The acquisition and the launch represent a further step in NBCU's strategic commitment to expand international operations into priority markets, announced in April by Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal, and Peter Smith, President, NBC Universal International.
Global Networks, under the leadership of Roma Khanna, President of Global Networks & Digital Initiatives, plans to significantly boost the revenues of its international cable channels, including the Sci Fi, 13th Street, Studio Universal and Universal Channel brands, over the next two to three years.
NBC Universal's international channels expansion strategy was notably augmented by the recent acquisition of Sparrowhawk Media, including the international Hallmark channels. The acquisition, alongside an already active schedule of planned NBCU channel launches, will dramatically boost the size of NBCU Global Networks to around 60 channels by the end of 2007.
Established in 1995, Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (J:COM) is Japan's largest multiple system operator (MSO) and multiple channel operator (MCO or Jupiter TV Company). J:COM provides cable television, high-speed Internet access, telephony, and mobile services to customers through 21 managed franchises (as of September 30, 2007) operating at the local level, serving approximately 2.73 million subscribing households (as of September 30, 2007) in the Sapporo, Kanto, Kansai, and Kyushu regions.