Low demand for NHK's VOD service

Subscribers balk after paying monthly licensing fee

TOKYO – Pubcaster NHK’s On Demand service continues to struggle to find viewers willing to pay for programming that has already been shown on its terrestrial and satellite channels.
Revenue from On Demand, which is available online and through cable television providers, amounted to 300 million yen ($3.3 million) in the financial year to March, as against a forecast of 2.25 billion yen.
The most popular show in the regular On Demand rankings last year was once again NHK’s New Year’s Eve music special “Kouhaku” – although this attracted an unimpressive 26,835 views. Meanwhile, the best-ranked foreign drama: the top episode of “Ugly Betty Season 3,” managed only 2,638 views.
On its Special Library rankings, the 2007 financial drama series “Hagetaka,” topped out with 13,070 views. Even free episodes of the smash Korean hit “Winter Sonata” only pulled in 36,866 viewers.
Audiences already paying NHK’s compulsory monthly license fee, and those who choose to pay for the extra satellite channels, appear reluctant to shell out again for the same content.