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Tokyo Tower to increase height to lure TV broadcasters back

Nippon Television City Corp. said it is ready to extend Tokyo Tower's height in what is seen as a desperate bid to prevent major TV broadcasters from switching to a planned taller tower for transmitting broadcast signals.

Tokyo Tower to increase height to lure TV broadcasters back

The operator of the 333-meter tower, now vying with the planned 610- meter tower dubbed the "New Tokyo Tower," laid out a plan to extend the tower's antenna for digital broadcasting by 80 to 100 meters.

In order to increase the height of Tokyo Tower's antenna by 100 meters, the structure itself would need to be extended by 20 meters, which would cost around 4 billion yen and would be fully covered by the company, it said.

The new radio and TV transmitter tower to be built in Tokyo's Sumida Ward is slated to be the world's tallest structure when it begins operations in 2011.

Public broadcaster Japan Broadcasting Corp., commonly known as NHK, and five commercial broadcasters plan to move their transmitting stations to the new tower when they shift from analog to terrestrial digital broadcasting.

Though aviation restrictions currently limit the tower's height, President Shin Maeda of Nippon Television City said the company plans to discuss the matter with related ministries and agencies.

The company will also invest 3.5 billion yen to refurbish the transmitting station, offering an area for each broadcaster that is four times the current space.

"I believe Tokyo Tower will ultimately be chosen," Maeda said.

With the new generous offer, Nippon Television City hopes to prevent the six broadcasters from transferring their facilities to the new tower, which will result in huge losses in revenues drawn from rental fees.

"The six companies will gather to study (the proposal)," an executive of a major broadcaster said.

AP-KYODO

Last Mod: 22 Eylül 2007, 15:57
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