The latest national drama

Sven Koerber-Abe svenkoerber
Sun Mar 27 06:37:15 EST 2005

I was also wondering why Horie is after radio-licenses, but he may be
thinking not only in the terms of old fashion-style radio broadcasting: at
least here in Germany the business with songs in mp3 or other electronic
formats is booming like hell (not to mention the ipod-hype and mobile
ringtones). It seems to me that the radio-license Horie was after was only
the beginning of something like little revolutionizing the old media a
little bit.

As TV is getting digitalized and even the standard-PCs at the big discounter
markets here in technically quite slow-changing Germany are equipped with
receivers for digital TV, not only Livedoor, but also other formerly only
Internet centered businesmen are aiming for a merger with traditional media
to form some new ways of broadcasting (and to fill their moneybags with).
This year even some big libraries began with digitalizing their oldest
books, so it seems the future of even the oldest media will get a change
into digital existence.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Hammill Matthew" <mjh47ronin at>
To: <KineJapan at>
Sent: Saturday, March 26, 2005 1:14 PM
Subject: RE: The latest national drama

> I think the switch to totally digital television, which will supposedly be
> a reality in 2011, is something that Horiemon is thinking about, and the
> ways in which this type of content can be integrated into the internet.
> His idea that the internet will completely take over the role of regular
> seems to not really be very accepted here.   It seems a little ironic that
> he has purchased Nippon Housou, with radio probably being the most old
> fashioned form of media in many people`s view.
> mjh
> >From: Mark Nornes <amnornes at>
> >Reply-To: KineJapan at
> >To: KineJapan <KineJapan at>
> >Subject: The latest national drama
> >Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 09:47:59 +0900
> >
> >The latest drama that everyone seems to be talking about here is not
> >the climax of the morning soap Wakaba, but Livedoor's hostile
> >take-over bid for Nippon Broadcasting. I'm still trying to figure
> >out exactly why this thing is on the front pages day in and day
> >out?orning and evening papers.
> >
> >It all started a few weeks ago, when the internet startup Livedoor
> >made a sneaky move on Nippon Broadcasting with an off-hours trade
> >that put it within spitting distance of company control. It soon
> >became apparent that the target was actually Fuji TV network, which
> >is majority owned by NBS. There has been daily maneuvering by each
> >side that the media follows religiously (I wonder about
> >readers/viewers). NBS tried to dilute the Fuji stock by selling some
> >of itself to Fuji, which would have fatally weakened Livedoor's
> >share. The courts blocked that, and now NBS has loaned a big chunk
> >of stock to Softbank, big investor in broadband and YahooJapan and
> >Livedoor's significant competitor.
> >
> >So what's the big deal?
> >
> >At one level, it's the way the hostility of the takeover became
> >personalized in the respective CEOs. The NBS Man is a typical ojisan
> >executive, with the usual sharp suits, nondescript hair, and ugly
> >eye glasses. Livedoor's Horie is a college drop-out and 32 year-old,
> >straight-talking, wunderkind?ead "child." The two have been
> >throwing barbs at each other, and the battle is portrayed as Old vs.
> >New Japan.
> >
> >At another level, it seems to be about journalism. Horie, the
> >college dropout, thinks that in the age of the internet journalism
> >is pass? as all you have to do is put the information coming from
> >various sources online and grant the people the freedom to form
> >their own opinion about it. The press reminds him that journalism
> >has a higher goal?art of which is weeding out distortion,
> >propaganda, significance, etc.? higher goal deeply connected to a
> >responsibility to the citizenry of Japan. The irony of this argument
> >has been pretty enjoyable; Horie's ridiculous anti-intellectualism
> >is not so far off the mark when you think about how prone the press
> >is here?veryone knows you get the real news from shukanshi.
> >
> >Finally, it seems to be about the future of television. This is the
> >intriguing part of it all. It's the aspect I am most interested in,
> >but which is also the worst reported so far. It seems obvious that
> >Livedoor is interested in acquiring a television network because
> >they see where the internet is going. Now you can watch full-screen,
> >full motion quicktime movies that look pretty damn good (check out
> >the trailers on the Apple site); it doesn't take much imagination to
> >figure out what's going on in Horie's head. But on the shorter term,
> >there has also been some talk about changing programming itself. Not
> >simply sloughing off the news, but revamping the entertainment end
> >as well.
> >
> >Has anyone been following this? Does anyone have a handle on the
> >significance of the take-over, especially the third aspect on my
> >list?
> >
> >Curiously,
> >
> >Markus

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