Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch plans to use a Japanese satellite to launch digital television broadcasts in Japan next year. Murdoch, chairman of News Corp, told a recent public hearing by the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications that he and his new business partner want to use two transponders of the JCSAT-3 communications satellite to launch a 12-channel digital Japan Sky Broadcast, or JSkyB. Murdoch and Masayoshi Son, president of Softbank Corp are working on the project. News Corp and Softbank, which will form a joint company later, still have to file an official application and obtain government permission to start the broadcasts. Some 40 other potential applicants participated in the ministry hearing. The ministry says it plans to decide which applicants to choose and the number of channels in the coming few months.
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