TOKYO: It's a nightmare that has the likes of BBC director general Mark Thompson awakening in the small hours, screaming with the cold sweats. Also his opposite numbers at other public service broadcasters across the world.

But for president Shigeo Fukuchi of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, it's no nightmare but the real thing – a substantial 10% cut in the fees paid by viewers – forcibly imposed this week by the broadcaster's Board of Governors.

From fiscal 2012, JBC "will pass back 10% of the receiving fees", the first such reduction since the fee system started in 1950.

What this means in effect, says chairman of the governors Shigetaka Komori, is cuts in viewer fees, rather than by indirect means such as improving programming.

Data sourced from The Asahi Shimbun (Japan); additional content by WARC staff