Japanese getting HBO on demand


HBO is entering the Japanese television market.

The Time Warner division said Friday that a deal has been struck with Japan's largest cable company, Jupiter Telecommunications. Beginning Oct. 1, 80 episodes of HBO series including "The Sopranos" will be made available in high definition via VOD on Jupiter's J:COM on Demand.

"We are sincerely grateful to be working with one of the most powerful U.S. cable TV networks as HBO kicks off their business in Japan through our VOD service," said Toru Kato, director and service strategy unit officer of J:COM.

HBO has maintained a low profile in Japan to date, making select series available on a licensing basis. The network of late has been pushing into new territories including Israel on a VOD basis instead of in the form of its core linear service.

"The J:COM service provides a perfect opportunity for HBO to bring our renowned programming to Japanese audiences," HBO International senior vp Stanley Fertig said.