Global TV music group MTV Networks is to return to Japan following a two-year absence after its retreat over licensing agreement differences with Music Channel, a unit of consumer electronics group Pioneer.

The broadcaster’s re-entry vehicle will be a 24-hour cable channel into which a “multimillion dollar” investment will be injected. Details are firmly under the wraps but MTV executive vp international operations, Gregory Ricca, dropped a broad hint, saying “you need the channel to promote things you do on the internet”. Industry observers predict that the market for broadband content in Japan is set for exponential growth.

The project goes on-air in January 2001 via private satellite channels. Japanese artists will be heavily featured and revenues will accrue primarily from cable subscriptions and ads from multinational brands targeting the youth market.

MTV’s latest foray into Nippon is a joint venture with @JapanMedia, a unit of venture capital group H&Q Asia Pacific. Both partners were coy as to the actual value of their investment in the project.

News source: Financial Times