Final Report of "Study Group on Broadcasting Policy" (outline)
|I. Situation surrounding broadcasting
|| Changes of media environment
Looking into the media environment, which includes restrictions
in frequencies, evolution of technologies, development of services,
trends in viewing/listening modes, business performances of broadcasters,
etc., there are factors that change and remain unchanged.
[Major factors that changed]
[Major factors without changes]
||Increase in the number of available means for obtaining
information by viewers/listeners using various media, such
as progress in broadband platform deployment, diffusion and
development of via Broadcasting Satellites (BS), Communications
Satellites (CS), Cable television broadcast.
||Growing shares of key stations (*1) in total operating revenues
of all terrestrial TV broadcasters
||Increasing burdens of investments in digitalization of terrestrial
TV broadcasting and initial costs for setting up BS digital
TV broadcasting media
(*1) key stations: a large-scale broadcaster which broadcasts in
major metropolitan area.
||Social influence of broadcasting still remains unchanged.
||With respect to scarcity of frequency resources, assignable
frequencies are limited with the exception of a portion of
those for CS broadcasting.
||Terrestrial TV broadcasting is the most basic media.
|| Trends in media development and expected roles
||Relationship between terrestrial TV broadcasting and satellite
Since local-based broadcasting will gain importance from
now on, it is foreseen that terrestrial TV broadcasting will
seek local-based development by placing importance on a community
to be covered.
It is anticipated that satellite broadcasting in the future
will play the role of quasi-basic broadcasting media or multichannel
special broadcasting media, the role of diffusing digital
broadcasting and the role of broadcasting media for local
stations airing their original broadcast programming nationwide.
||Relationship between broadcasting and broadband communications
Broadcasting and broadband communications have developed
as unique media that differ from each other. The relationship
between the two is not substitute, but the combination of
the two will make synergy effort, in principle.
|II. The "principle of media ownership rule"
||The "Principle of media ownership rule" and its policy
||Significance of the "principle of media ownership rule"
The "principle of media ownership rule"
is set forth for the purpose of contributing to sound development
of democracy, by ensuring opportunities for as many persons
as possible to conduct broadcasting services, so that as many
persons as possible can enjoy freedom of expressions via broadcasting.
In principle, the number of broadcasting stations, etc. possessed
or controlled by one person is limited to one. (Definition
for "control": With respect to terrestrial broadcasting,
"more than one-tenth" of voting rights possessed
by a person. In cases where coverage of broadcast service
areas does not overlap, "one-fifth" of voting rights
and over possessed by a person. With respect to satellite
broadcasting (BS digital broadcasting), "one-third"
of voting rights and over possessed by a person.)
||Policy purposes for the "principle of excluding multiple
ownership of media"
With regard to the "principle of excluding
multiple ownership of media," it is appropriate for important
policy purposes as follow be continuously attained, namely
i) "plurality" ensuring different and multifaceted
broadcasting entities (entities not controlled by others),
ii) "diversity" enabling viewers/listeners to select
various broadcast programming and obtain necessary information,
and iii) "localism" allowing for existence of media
for the transmission of local-based information.
||Relevant policy challenges, etc.
In the course of review concerning the existing
"principle of media ownership rule," it is vital
that consideration be paid to i) the improvement of content,
such as realization of much higher quality broadcast programming,
and ii) the policy challenges such as stable diffusion, etc.
at an early stage of digital broadcasting from which public
||Adequacy concerning the review of the existing "principle
of media ownership rule"
Unchanged points concerning terrestrial and satellite
broadcasting shall be sufficiently considered. At the same time,
the changing environment surrounding the media is to be highlighted,
in particular, the availability of increased choices for viewers/listeners
to obtain information. Taking into consideration these points, it
is basically adequate to relax appropriately the existing "principle
of media ownership rule." Through this relaxation, it is anticipated
that the sound development of broadcasting and benefits for viewers/listeners
will be ensured.
|III Practical directions of review on the existing "principle
of media ownership rule"
||Deregulation within the same broadcasting service area and
between different broadcasting service areas
Deregulation within the same broadcasting service
area is at risk of directly affecting "plurality in broadcasting"
in said area. On the other hand, deregulation between different
broadcasting service areas will not affect "plurality
in broadcasting" in said areas. Thus, deregulation within
the same broadcasting service area shall be carefully dealt
with (e.g., the "maintenance of the status quo"
[limitation on "more than one-tenth" of voting rights
possessed by a person] or "minor deregulation").
||Deregulation between different areas
1) In cases of deregulation between key stations and local
Deregulation shall be carefully deliberated upon
within the scope in which the local features of local stations
may not be deteriorated (e.g., the "maintenance of the
status quo" [limitation on "one-fifth and over"
of voting rights possessed by a person] or "minor deregulation").
2) In cases of deregulation between local stations
||Between broadcasters who comply with "certain
conditions taking into consideration the local features"
((i) a broadcast service area adjacent to another broadcast
service area, and (ii) limited to 2 broadcast service
areas), it is appropriate to introduce major deregulation,
for instance, "cross-ownership of two or more broadcasting
station (or wholly-owned subsidiaries)."
||In cases where "certain conditions taking into
consideration the local features" are not met,
"cross-ownership of 2 (or wholly-owned subsidiaries)"
shall not be allowed. With regard to regulations on
capital ratio, however, it is sufficient that deliberations
on a certain level of deregulation concerning the regulated
capital ratio between local stations or less regulated
levels in comparison with the regulated level, in line
with the degree of local features, be introduced.
||Measures of media concentration
With respect to the concept of introducing other
ways to measure of media concentration(e.g., the number of
viewer households, instead of limitations on the number of
broadcasting stations, viewer rating, etc.), there is a risk
of affecting plurality and diversity. In addition, when considering
the so-called "principle of excluding cross-media ownership
between radio, television and newspapers," it is vital
that in-depth deliberations shall be made upon future directions
without immediately introducing new, different measures.
||Treatment of radio broadcasting
Basically, it is appropriate to relax regulations
on radio broadcasting, as the same treatment as in the current
||Treatment of newspapers
|| With respect to the principle of excluding
cross-media ownership between the three media (TV, radio
and newspapers), it is appropriate to maintain the current
|| With regard to the capital ratio regulations,
the following options are to be considered. Henceforth,
it is essential to further deepen deliberations upon
merits and demerits thereof.
||The same treatment as deregulation for others
is to be imposed on newspapers.
||Notwithstanding the deregulation for others
, the current level of regulations on newspapers
is to be maintained.
||Treatment of local public entities
With regards regulations on capital investment
by local public entities, the following options are to be
considered. Henceforth, it is essential to further deepen
deliberations upon merits and demerits thereof.
||The same treatment as deregulation for others is to
be imposed on local public entities.
||Notwithstanding the deregulation for others, the current
level of regulations on local public entities is to
||For any broadcaster, the ratio of capital investment
is to be limited to a certain ratio.
||Adequacy of cross-ownership of BS digital broadcasting and
||When approving the cross-ownership of these media,
there are risks of damaging plurality in media, affecting
terrestrial local stations as local-based media, resulting
in serious influence on grounds of local-based information
media, and ii) it is not fully verified at present that
merits of the cross-ownership can be attained by a different
type of deregulation (e.g., relaxation of the regulations
on capital ratio), other than the cross-ownership. For
these reasons, it is inappropriate that with regard
to BS digital broadcasting, cross-ownership between
terrestrial broadcasting be approved.
||Adequacy of relaxation of the regulations on capital ratio
From the viewpoint s of maintaining BS digital
broadcasting and realizing attractive broadcasting services,
while maintaining plurality in broadcasting, it is appropriate
to relax the regulations on capital ratio.
||Practical measures for reviewing the current regulatory
frameworks on BS digital broadcasting
It is appropriate to relax the current upper limit
of capital investment from "less than one-third"
to "one-half or less."
||Common matters to terrestrial and satellite broadcasting
||Treatment of regulations on officers
With respect to a ban of concurrency of board
members with the right of representation and full-time board
members, it is vital to maintain the current scheme. As regards
regulations on the ratio of concurrent part-time officers,
it is acceptable that relaxation be applied according to the
regulations on the ratio of concurrent board members.
||On continuity of broadcasting services - treatment of failed
In cases where a broadcaster is in difficulty
of improving business performance within the scope of the
principle of excluding multiple ownership of mass media and
cases where a broadcaster is in difficulty of continuing broadcasting
services, it is from the viewpoint of ensuring benefits of
viewers/listeners appropriate to approve application of exceptional
special rules under a certain condition. In this case, considering
risks of causing moral hazards from easy application of the
special rules for the reason of difficulty in business management,
it is necessary to deliberate upon appropriate conditions
for limiting application of the special rules. Meanwhile,
as for content of the special rules, it is appropriate to
approve drastic relaxation for ensuring continuity of broadcasting
services. In parallel, it is vital to hold a review on the
||Need to review according to changes in situation
Environments, such as deployment of broadband
platforms and development in digitalization, surrounding the
broadcasting field will change drastically. Thus, upon deliberations
upon the desirable principle of excluding multiple ownership
of mass media, it is appropriate to take into consideration
five-year time period for the time being.
|IV. Matters to be deliberated upon other than the "principle
of media ownership rule"
||Concept of broadcasting
There are two viewpoints for deliberating upon "broadcasting"
as a legal concept, namely, i) rationality of concept of broadcasting
as a term for defining object of disciplines concerning broadcasting
media, and ii) rationality as a meaning of whether the concept of
broadcasting effectively functions under the Copyright Law, etc.
At the same time, the term "broadcasting" is used as a
concept in legal schemes of foreign countries and international
conventions, etc. Thus, the viewpoint of international harmonization
shall be taken into consideration.
The first approach to define the concept of broadcasting
is the method of diversifying disciplines in accordance with uniqueness
of each broadcasting media as an element comprising a broader concept
of "broadcasting," as done in the past.
The second approach is, as a theoretical possible method
of i) monitoring the entire broadcasting media, ii) organizing anticipated
roles of individual media, and iii) coordinating and combining,
in response to the anticipated roles, disciplines for each broadcasting
media from the comprehensive viewpoints.
The third approach is a method of limiting the concept
of broadcasting in comparison with the current scheme. Even so,
in cases where this third approach is employed, there arise problems
that a new regulatory category between broadcasting and communications
shall be forcedly introduced and that whether the redefined concept
of broadcasting will function under other legal schemes including
the Copyright Law. Furthermore, with respect to the concept of broadcasting,
even though the concept is broadly or narrowly defined in foreign
countries, consistency and harmonization with the concept as loosely
defined in foreign countries cannot be ignored. Considering these
points, when the third approach is employed for use in harmony with
today's domestic and foreign legal frameworks, the third approach
may, upon operation of the first approach, be positioned as a policy
stance responding to introduction of multimedia and deregulation
||On Japan broadcasting corporation (NHK)'s business operations
(following up the First Report)
NHK is a special juridical person established for the
public welfare under the provisions of the Broadcast Law and financed
with the reception fee system. Thus, with respect to desirable organization,
etc. considering its raison d'etre, NHK is required to examine itself
on a regular basis, disclose information thereof and make efforts
to improve its business operations.
Accordingly, NHK shall thoroughly implement various
measures in conformance with the First Report, ensure appropriateness
and transparency in business operations, improve accountability
and continuously make efforts to provide abundant and high quality
broadcast programs with the public, through efforts to utilize and
improve frameworks developed anew by NHK itself.
||On local community-based broadcasting and broadcasting networks
Private broadcasters based on local communities are
expected to i) play the role of local-based information transmission
media, ii) respond to requests from residents in the local communities
through their broadcasts, and iii) meet demands of the local communities
Roles of terrestrial broadcasting as local-based information
transmission media, basically, shall be played through their voluntary
efforts by themselves. Considering severe business environments,
in addition to efforts of each private broadcaster to ensure their
originally produced programming, it may be meaningful to deliberate
upon new supplemental methods for ensuring local features.
As one of measures for ensuring local features, a method
to utilize the existing broadcasting networks may be considered.
For instance, it is a method that each network sets forth their
own targets conducive to improvement of program production with
the local features of local stations, announce the targets, and
each key station supports local stations for realizing the targets.
In addition, broadcasting networks shall be focused not only on
the aspect of nationwide broadcasting means based on the relationship
between a key station and local stations, but also on smaller scale
network structures such as joint production among local stations.
Such methods shall be made the most and encouraged. It is considered
useful to support the voluntary efforts of private broadcasters.
||On public scheme for production/distribution of broadcast programming
Broadcasters are seen playing a social role in providing
high-quality content (broadcast programming) involving some public
aspects making use of the functions of broadcasting. In order to
enhance production/distribution of high-quality content involving
some public aspects, in principle, voluntary efforts of private
broadcasters are expected. It is worth creating certain kind of
schemes for supporting production/distribution of high-quality content
involving some public aspects.
As one of such methods, the establishment of funds like
the Public Service Broadcasting Fund proposed by A. Peacock of the
U.K. may be taken into consideration. Through competition among
broadcasters for obtaining support from the funds, the broadcasters
as a result would be allowed to provide abundant quality programming
using the support. This will lead to improvement in quality of programming
as a whole. With respect to the creation of a "fund,"
for example, a scheme under which public organizations or private
broadcasters pool funds for subsidization might be considered.