The Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations (JAITS; Japanese: 全国独立放送協議会, romanizedZenkoku Dokuritsu Hōsō Kyōgi-kai, lit.'National Independent Broadcasting Forum') is a group of Japan's reception fee-free commercial terrestrial television stations which are not members of the major national television networks. The association was established on 4 November 1977.[1]: 30 

Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations
Formation4 November 1977; 45 years ago (1977-11-04)
Official language

Its members sell to, buy from, and co-produce programmes with other members. While a few of them, namely Tokyo MX, TVK and Sun TV and sell more than the others, it does not mean the former control the others in programming. Meanwhile, some JAITS members (GBS, MTV, BBC, TVN, WTV) broadcast a lot of TV Tokyo's programs.[citation needed] It forms a loose broadcast network without exclusivity. They form permanent and ad hoc subgroups for production and sales of advertising opportunity.[2]

Name Edit

The English name of the group is provisional. The Japanese documents for the association refer to the acronym JAITS but the fully spelled English name has not been disclosed yet.

In Japanese, the group was previously known as Zenkoku Dokuritsu Yū-eichi-efu Hōsō Kyōgi-kai (Japanese: 全国独立UHF放送協議会, lit.'National Independent UHF Broadcasting Forum'), bearing the term UHF as all of the member stations broadcast on the UHF band in analogue, in contrast to major networks that primarily broadcast on the VHF band in analogue. All the Japanese terrestrial television stations switched to UHF digital when all analogue television transmissions (both VHF and UHF) were shut down between 24 July 2011 and 31 March 2012.

List of members Edit

LCN assignments for JAITS members

Stations are listed in Japanese order of prefectures which is mirrored in ISO 3166-2:JP.

Broadcasting area(s) Station LCN Start date of
Prefecture Region On air branding Abbr. Call sign
Tochigi Kantō Tochigi TV GYT JOGY-DTV 3 1 April 1999
Gunma Kantō Gunma TV / GunTele GTV JOML-DTV 3 16 April 1971
Saitama Kantō TV Saitama / Teletama TVS JOUS-DTV 3 1 April 1979
Chiba Kantō Chiba TV CTC JOCL-DTV 3 1 May 1971
Tokyo Kantō Tokyo MX MX JOMX-DTV 9 1 November 1995
Kanagawa Kantō TV Kanagawa tvk JOKM-DTV 3 1 April 1972
Gifu Chūbu Gifu Hōsō GBS JOZF-DTV 8 12 August 1968
Mie Kansai Mie TV MTV JOMH-DTV 7 1 December 1969
Shiga Kansai Biwako Hōsō BBC JOBL-DTV 3 1 April 1972
Kyoto Kansai KBS Kyoto KBS JOBR-DTV 5 1 April 1969
Hyōgo Kansai Sun TV SUN JOUH-DTV 3 1 May 1969
Nara Kansai Nara TV TVN JONM-DTV 9 1 April 1973
Wakayama Kansai TV Wakayama WTV JOOM-DTV 5 1 April 1974

Characteristics of the independent stations Edit

Degree of independence Edit

In the strict (North American) definition of "not affiliated with any networks", the only independent terrestrial television station in Japan would be The Open University of Japan, which produces almost all its programs in-house. In addition, most of the JAITS independent stations have investments from the Chunichi Shimbun Co.

The JAITS and the Japanese public take "Independent UHF Station" (Japanese: 独立U(HF)局, romanizeddokuritsu Yū(-eichi-efu) kyoku) for not being members of large networks, in which the Tokyo's stations almost control other members' programming. Those networks are also affiliated with large national newspapers. On the other hands, the JAITS stations are often affiliated with prefectural or metropolitan newspapers and prefectural governments, whose degree of influence may vary.

MTV, GBS, BBC, TVN, and WTV broadcast certain programmes from TV Tokyo.[citation needed]

Here is the description of characters of the independent commercial terrestrial television stations in Japan. Currently all such stations are members of the JAITS.

Market Edit

Their areas of coverage are located in Kantō, Chūkyō and Kansai regions which are the most urbanised in Japan. Their reachable population is large. If the population was too small they could not have number of viewers and sponsorship to sustain the station. However their coverage are within major network stations' official coverage, except TXN network members TV Osaka's, TV Aichi's and TV Setouchi's which are adjacent to. Multi-channel cable television may cover significant parts of the areas. Externally sourced popular contents are often too expensive to buy therefore they are very difficult to beat major networks in viewing rates.

Programming Edit

Compared with the major networks, the independent stations have a relatively smaller audience, but have a more flexible schedule due to their decentralized nature.

Short-running anime productions (as little as one episode) are often broadcast by the independent stations, a concept which has been referred to as "UHF anime". They also sometimes run shopping programming, along with brokered programming such as infomercials and televangelism. In 2000, All Japan Pro Wrestling moved to JAITS affiliates after it ended its run on Nippon TV.

See also Edit

Notes Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ NHK年鑑 1978年版 [NHK Yearbook 1978 Edition] (in Japanese). NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). 1978. OCLC 673870022.
  2. ^ Tokyo-Osaka-Nagoya Intermetropolitan Network (Japanese: 東・名・阪ネット6, romanizedTō-Mei-Han Netto 6) Archived 2007-06-30 at the Wayback Machine

External links Edit