Wharf Cable hopes to lessen its dependence on adult movies for the bulk of its pay-per-view revenues by tapping the growing appetite for Japanese television shows. The cable-TV operator yesterday said it was scrapping its local-movie pay-per-view channel and replacing it with one that sold Japanese TV serials. Operations controller Peter Tsi said deals had been struck with Fuji Television Network of Japan on a guaranteed base plus a revenue-sharing arrangement to provide content for the channel. The new channel will allow Wharf Cable to diversify its revenue base, as more than two-thirds of pay-per-view revenue still comes from adult offerings. Cable has been testing the Japanese serial Precious Time on pay-per-view during the past month. 'We have sold about 10,000 packages - at $160 to $200 per package - so far, which allow viewers to watch the show as well as back episodes,' Mr Tsi said. He said the trial had achieved break-even levels with little marketing, making the idea successful enough to now hard-launch. Japanese TV dramas have attracted a wide following on the free-broadcast TV channels in recent years. Mr Tsi said the switch away from local-movie content made sense from a cost perspective: 'We have budgeted about $10 million - not including the revenue-sharing - to buy all the shows we will need for the next 12 months.' The same amount of money would have only bought 10 Hong Kong films, for about three months' worth of content. Mr Tsi said prices for Hong Kong movies in the syndication market had risen substantially in recent years, due to growing foreign interest, a slowdown in new productions and competition from Hongkong Telecom's video-on-demand service. He said Wharf would continue to show local movies, but would increase the number of older offerings rather than premier TV screenings. A new movie channel has been created on the regular cable service to accommodate the shift.