|Full-scale satellite TV broadcasts started in 1989, the first year of the Heisei era. The subsequent introduction of digital broadcasting and Hi-Vision (HDTV) offer just two other examples of NHK's quick response to new technological possibilites.|
Real-time reports and diverse programs
Economic bubble bursts
Soviet Union breaks up
Mt. Unzen erupts
|Sagawa Kyubin Scandal
War in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Albertville Winter Olympics
|Wedding of Crown Prince
First non-LDP govt. in
|China Airlines crash in Nagoya
Sarin murders in Nagano Pref
|Live war coverage||Mohri Mamoru conducts lesson from space shuttle||Japan Professional Soccer League (J. League)||Hi-Vision test broadcasting|
The last decade of the 20th century saw many turbulent develop-ments around the world. The tragic events in Tiananmen Square in 1989 occurred shortly after the launch of regular satellite broadcasting. Satellite coverage of other key events, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, provided Japanese viewers with instant news and TV programs from the locations involved. NHK initially aired world news using unmodified materials from 11 broadcasters in nine countries. The present resources include 20 broadcasters in 14 countries and regions. This global TV network was an unprecedented development in broadcasting, making it possible for world news to come to Japan across national borders, accurately conveying the perspectives and viewpoints of people in many different countries.
Satellite broadcasts were seen as a key means of eliminating TV blind spots, but they also offered new vehicles for culture and entertainment. The original concept for the BS-2 channel was to supplement everyday terrestrial programming with fresh quality and uniqueness. The key ideas were:
(1) special programming
(2) complete broadcasting of games in sports
(3) high grade and personal.
The immediate effect of satellite broadcasting was to broaden the range of news, sports, educational, cultural and entertainment programs. Satellite channels also led to more flexible programming in NHK's terrestrial channels, General TV and Educational TV, and offered audiences greater choice at popular viewing times.
Essential real-time news for the international era
The BS-1 channel was set up to provide international information for people in Japan by transmitting frequent live reports on world events from diverse standpoints. BS-1 is also widely commended for its coverage of major foreign sports, including MLB, NFL and NBA from the U.S., Liga Española Spanish soccer, WGP road racing and Wimbledon tennis.
more program choice
The BS-2 channel entered service in June 1989 with an in-depth broadcast called The Essence of the Bolshoi Ballet. In October, Satellite Movie Theater went to air. Satellite Movie Marathon 365, an event that enabled 1 million people to cast votes for their favorite films, was launched on BS-2. The daily 6:00-7:00 p.m. time slot was set aside for children, with the airing of Satellite Animation Theater. BS programs have produced new forms of cultural content.