Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Terrestrial TV Stations Getting Cold Feet?

All the major TV stations in Japan were supposed to stop broadcasting in analogue on July 24, 2011. There was one piece of information that wasn't made public until now, and that is that the Japanese government wanted the TV stations to stop broadcasting regular programming on June 30, 2011.

The government plan called for the TV stations to air only a notice that TV sets that cannot pick up Digital would only receive "snow."

As Yomiuri reports:


Commercial TV stations are likely to continue analog TV broadcasts until noon on July 24, deviating from a government plan to phase in terrestrial digital broadcasts and end regular analog service by the end of June, sources said.

This means the TV stations will not participate in a planned June 30 to July 24 transition period during which the government hopes analog broadcasts will be reduced only to a notice saying terrestrial TV broadcasting will go exclusively digital at noon on July 24.

After the changeover is complete, TV sets incapable of digital reception will display only "snow" on their screens. TV stations plan to start broadcasting an image of a snow-filled screen repeatedly in announcements to begin as early as this month to avoid confusion among TV viewers after the full transition.


The government is so unorganized that it is not even funny. Here we are 7 months from D-Day for these foolish TV stations that agreed to go into huge debt to go digital and the government - as is par for the course - hasn't got their ducks in order.

Hell, they stopped giving people so-called eco-point discounts on these digital ready TV sets already! (Now, don't get me wrong, I think these eco-points discounts, are a sham and the government has no business offering people discounts for products on the free market...) But if they are going to do it anyway, you'd think they would continue to allow credits to people to buy a digital set for at least a year after conversion... But no!

The government can't fill in a pothole in the road on time and on budget; who thinks they can control and run an entire country switchover to digital smoothly?

Let me make a prediction right here. When the stations stop broadcasting in analogue, they will lose viewers in huge numbers and they will receive a massive amount of complaints. This will affect their sales. I predict that the government and the broadcasters will start to quarrel and, before April 2012, some of the TV stations will request that they be allowed to broadcast in analogue also.

This will cause even more confusion and complaints amongst the people, manufacturers, broadcasters and the government. And that will, in turn, make TV an ever more undesirable method of advertising. This will also hurt TV viewership ratings.

The Japanese government will realize that they made a mistake by making digital broadcasting mandatory and then they will try all sorts of "fix-it" remedies - all of which will fail.

These sorts of events will help lead to TV Tokyo and TBS's bankruptcy by 2015.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Marks said...

I read those articles about the astronomical sales of digital TVs in Japan with interest. Is this a good sign for the future of commercial television in Japan after all? Are people going to go along with the switch to digital?