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Japanese and Afrikaans TV channels launched on Freeview HD

Monday, June 8th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Four pay TV channels aimed at Japanese and Afrikaans speakers are coming to Freeview HD.

JSTV and JSTV2 are the only Japanese channels available in Europe and feature entertainment, movies, news, sports and children’s programmes.

kykNET and kykNET Musiek provide a range of Afrikaans entertainment including talk shows, music programmes, dramas and cookery shows.

The channels are available to Freeview HD customers and require viewers to subscribe via a new pay portal.

They are being brought to the UK by THEMA, a Canal+ group company specialising in distributing foreign TV channels, and media services and infrastructure provider Arqiva.

Work by Arqiva’s Connected Solutions team will allow THEMA to get insights into viewers’ behaviour and manage subscriptions through a subscriber management service.

Arqiva’s director of Connected Solutions, Tom Cape, said: “By creating a bespoke pay TV capability for the THEMA channels we’re allowing greater flexibility in the content they serve and how they engage with their audiences.”

THEMA CEO François Thiellet added: “We’re pleased to announce this agreement with Arqiva to provide high quality programs to UK viewers on Freeview HD.”

Broadcasting in HD

kykNET was launched in the UK in October 2013 on TalkTalk’s YouView TV service. It started broadcasting in HD in August 2014.

JSTV was launched in March 1990 as a satellite channel and has more recently been available as an online channel in hotels across Europe and the Middle East.

Cable.co.uk previously reported on the successful launch of Welsh language channel S4C on the BBC iPlayer.

The channel has been getting an average 110,000 viewing sessions per week on BBC iPlayer after being launched on the catch-up service last year.

BBC Cymru Wales said new figures suggest more Welsh language audiences are consuming content across a range of technologies than ever before.

It pointed to the success of BBC Radio Cymru and a new Welsh language website, Cymru Fyw.

Sian Gwynedd, BBC Wales’ head of Welsh language services, said: “People of all ages are rapidly changing the way they use technology – especially in terms of mobiles and tablets.

“So it’s even more important that we offer digital services in Welsh, which are both relevant and accessible.

“The Cymru Fyw team have worked hard to provide unique content which appeals to audiences of all ages, and with Radio Cymru offering more podcasts than ever before, it’s great to see the download figures increasing too.”

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