Japanese creating TV shows for cell phones

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TOKYO -- Japan's largest mobile phone company, NTT DoCoMo, is teaming with domestic broadcasters in a new company that will create television programs designed specifically for cell phones.

The five companies, which include Fuji Television Network Inc. and Sky Perfect Communications Inc., will each invest 20% of the initial ¥30 million ($250,000) capital in Multimedia Broadcasting Planning LLC, NTT DoCoMo spokeswoman Tomoko Tsuda said.

The partnership also includes Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. and trading company Itochu Corp.

"The new company will be set up on Dec. 6, although we have not yet set a date for when it will begin providing programming or the types of programs that will be available," she said.

Japan's mobile phone and mobile entertainment sector is booming and the government is planning to relax a ban on the distribution of programs for cellphone-based terrestrial TV broadcasts that first went out on the airwaves in April.

Under the present law, the new broadcast service -- known as one-segment, or one-seg -- can only offer programs that have already screened on TV. The new rules may be introduced in 2008.

The new company will look to develop new types of programs that lend themselves to smaller delivery devices as well as mobile phone-specific advertising.

It also will set up a broadcast station providing one-seg programming by picking up bandwidth that will be unused when analog broadcasting ends in 2011.

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