Zone Vision, Jupiter form JV to launch Reality TV in Japan

MUMBAI: Zone Vision Enterprises has entered into a joint venture agreement with Jupiter Programming to launch a 24-hour Reality TV channel in Japan.

The channel will be broadcast in Japanese and launches in February 2005. The announcement was made by Zone Vision Enterprises chairman and president Chris Wronski and Jupiter Programming representative director, COO and EVP Jack Matthews.

"This is tremendous step in our worldwide expansion efforts for Reality TV," said Wronski. "We've made great strides throughout Asia in the past year and have always felt this channel would do well in Japan. By teaming with Jupiter, we will have the ability to reach cable and satellite subscribers across the country and become the source for reality programming in Japan."

Under the terms of the deal, the JV sees the formation of a new company, Reality TV Japan Co. Ltd., which will be based in Tokyo. Zone Vision and Jupiter Programming will each have a 50 per cent stake in the company.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Zone Vision to bring Reality TV to Japan for the first time," said Matthews. "There are no other channels and few sources on Japanese television for reality programming so we feel we will be a stand-out on the digital television landscape in this country."

The JV has acquired the existing channel BB Factory, a gaming and computer channel from Softbank and Yahoo. As a result, when Reality TV launches this coming February, it will be available on Sky Perfect DTH platforms and be distributed by JPC to cable and broadband platforms throughout Japan.

"The fact that we were able to negotiate the acquisition of pre-existing channel space really made this an exceptional deal for us," noted Zone Vision senior vice president, legal and business development Tanya Gugenheim. "We are entering this exciting new market at the right time and with the added benefit of a strong local partner and extensive carriage. It's really an ideal situation for us and we are very confident about the channel's future in Japan."

The new Reality TV channel will originate out of Tokyo and be distributed on a single, dedicated feed for Japan. Programming will include content from Zone Vision's vast library of reality series and specials. All programming will be dubbed in Japanese for local audiences.

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