Japan's Wowow to Expand Streaming Platform

Mitch Haaseth/ABC
'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

The country's biggest satellite network will begin offering its three channels on the new Paravi SVOD service.

Wowow, Japan's leading satellite TV company, will begin streaming its three channels simultaneously online from Oct. 1 on a trial basis, before rolling out fully Dec. 1 on its Members on Demand platform. The network will also begin offering its channels on the new Paravi SVOD platform in December.

Paravi, launched in April this year, is owned by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), TV Tokyo and its group company the Nikkei business daily newspaper, Wowow and Japan's two biggest ad agencies, Dentsu and Hakuhodo.

Customers will be able to access Wowow's Prime, Live and Cinema channels through any connected device via Paravi, which is yet another platform in Japan's increasingly crowded and competitive VOD market.

Wowow has managed to maintain subscriber growth despite the growing competition from Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and domestic platforms. The network has found some success recently in growing its commercial subscribers in hotels and other venues and has approximately 2.8 million subscriptions.

The satellite network's content includes local and international films, original dramas and documentaries, U.S. dramas such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and sports, including the U.S. Open tennis.

Wowow's monthly subscription will remain at $20 (2,000 yen), while Netflix is about to increase its standard fee in Japan to $10.75 (1,200 yen).