NHK aiming to expand online broadcasting business

NHK announced a plan on Tuesday aimed at expanding its online services, a move certain to draw strong criticism from commercial broadcasters.

The public broadcaster said it plans to remove the cap on its online business spending, including on its NHK Plus service which simultaneously broadcasts TV programs on the internet. NHK currently limits such spending at or below 2.5 percent of its viewing fee revenue.

After soliciting public comments, the broadcaster plans to apply for approval from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for the plan. NHK has so far said that its online business is a supplement service to its TV broadcasting operations.

NHK’s online business budget, excluding funds related to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, stands at ¥17 billion in fiscal 2020, or 2.4 percent of its viewing fee revenue, which totals ¥700 billion.

In the plan released Tuesday, NHK said that the proportion is

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