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Business Editors  EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 7, 1998--DIRECTV Japan, which launched service in December 1997, has acquired more than 140,000 subscribers as of the end of June.  The global DIRECTV brand is the world leader in direct-to-home satellite broadcasting, with more than 4 million subscribers worldwide, including the United States, Latin America and the  Caribbean.  DIRECTV Japan, which began service with 63 channels, expanded to 88 channels in April.  "With our experience in the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean, we are continuing to provide the highest quality and attractive content for the Japanese market," said Gareth Chang, chairman of DIRECTV Japan.  "Since DIRECTV Japan began, it has provided subscribers with superior value, higher quality video, and a better array of local and international programming than competing satellite or cable TV systems. As the Japanese economy improves, DIRECTV Japan will continue to make good progress in its subscriber growth," Chang continued.  In response to increasing consumer interest in the service, DIRECTV Japan is looking to broaden its offerings with "InteracTV," a data broadcast service for sports, racing and other programs, as well as adding additional new channels this fall.  DIRECTV Japan has reached an agreement with developers to install multiple dwelling unit (MDU) systems, starting with 85,000 units in 1,500 apartment and condominium buildings. DIRECTV, launched in the United States in 1994, has been growing at a rate of about 1 million subscribers each year. The service offers 185 channels of first-rate quality sports programming, pay-per-view movies, news and other entertainment.  Galaxy Latin America began its DIRECTV service to Latin America and the Caribbean in July 1996, quickly expanded its subscriber base and currently has more than 400,000 subscribers in 15 countries, including Argentina, Mexico and Brazil.  DIRECTV Japan is a partnership among DIRECTV International Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp.; Culture Convenience Club Co. Ltd.; Matsushita Electric Co. Ltd.; Tokuma Shoten Co. Ltd.; Mitsubishi Corp.; Mitsubishi Electric Co. Ltd.; Space Communications Corp.; Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd.; IBM Japan; and Orix Corp.    
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