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NHK Eyeing System to Return Part of Viewing Fees

NHK Eyeing System to Return Part of Viewing Fees

   Tokyo, Oct. 16 (Jiji Press)--Public broadcaster NHK, or Japan Broadcasting Corp., on Friday unveiled a plan to create a system to set aside some of its annual surplus as resources for returning part of television viewing fees it collected.
   According to the proposal, presented at a meeting of a communications ministry panel of experts, NHK will set aside about 10 pct of its annual viewing fee revenue in its existing carryover funds to prepare for disasters and other emergencies, and then manage an unused portion of the carryovers separately for giving back to viewers. Its viewing fee revenue totals about 700 billion yen a year.
   NHK also said that it plans to establish an intermediate holding company that will control some subsidiaries in order to accelerate streamlining measures, such as cutting the number of executives.
   In addition, NHK called for making it mandatory for people who have not signed viewing contracts with it to report to the broadcaster whether they have TV sets. The measure will help the broadcaster reduce costs related to viewing fee collection, according to NHK.
   NHK also requested that it be allowed to make inquiries to public service companies about the names of residents at the addresses of houses from which no such reports are submitted.

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