St.GIGA

Defunct Japanese satellite radio broadcaster

Satellite Digital Audio Broadcast Co., Ltd. (株式会社衛星デジタル音楽放送, Kabushiki-gaisha Eisei Dejitaru Ongaku Hōsō), trading as St.GIGA (セントギガ, Sento Giga), was a Japanese satellite radio company headquartered in Akasaka, Tokyo. The company was established on April 2, 1990 as a subsidiary of the television station provider WOWOW, achieving a cult following through its "Tide of Sound" nature sounds recording broadcasts and its nonstandard methodology. By 1994, St.GIGA was struggling financially due to the Japanese Recession affecting the demand for its ambient music, as consumers became reluctant to invest in satellite tuners. In 1995, St.GIGA partnered with Nintendo to produce the Satellaview, a peripheral for the Super Famicom that allowed games to be played through satellite broadcasts. Though the peripheral was successful, St.GIGA's financial state and inability to secure a proper broadcast license dissolved the relationship between the two companies, with Nintendo ceasing production of new content in March 1999. St.GIGA ran the Satellaview's servers until June 2000, leaving the video game industry entirely to focus on its radio stations and music licensing. After a significant downturn in its finances and nearing bankruptcy, St.GIGA merged with radio station provider WireBee in 2003 and was rebranded as Club Cosmo. In 2006, St.GIGA's content licensing rights were sold to World Independent Networks Japan (WINJ), which broadcast reruns of St.GIGA music until 2007. St.GIGA is credited as being the world's first digital satellite radio station. The Satellaview has received praise for being ahead of its time, particularly for St.GIGA's method of distributing and broadcasting high-quality audio and recordings. Its music has also inspired other Japanese radio stations and musicians, such as Yoshio Ojima.
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