Hiroshi Hayakawa, President
Masaya Fujinoki, Executive Director
Takashi Hirajo, Member of the Board in charge of Programming and Entertainment Division
Audience Rating Update:
Almost two months of the January-March period have passed, and I am happy to inform you that we were able to keep up our good performance and that now we are at the top position for golden-time, prime-time and prime-2. We are currently in a close race with NTV for all-day and golden-time, and we are leading in prime-time for the FY2012 so far. There is only one month left before the end of the fiscal year and we will make an all-out effort for the coming "World Baseball Classic (WBC)" and the end-of-the-term special programming. The commemoration period celebrating our 55th anniversary started on February 1st and the tribute programs including a special drama "The Farthest Galaxy" have received good reviews and good ratings marking a good start for the celebration period. We will be programming many more exciting special tribute programs that reflect the innovative characteristics of TV Asahi.
There are only five weeks left for the average audience ratings result for the FY2012. The fiscal year ratings cover the period of April 2012 to March 2013.
The rating for all-day so far is 7.8%, placing us second, 12.2% for golden-time, 12.5% for prime-time and 8.3% for prime-2 placing us at the top. We are keeping up the top position in golden-time, prime-time and prime-2, and for all-day, we are placed as the runner-up with 0.1 point difference with NTV. On a monthly basis, we have been ranked top in prime-time for five consecutive months since last September. In this fiscal year, we have achieved the top rating eight times out of ten months so far, and five times for both all-day and golden-time. On a weekly basis, we have achieved the top rating for prime-time 27 times out of 47 weeks so far.
As for the on-going audience ratings for the second half of the FY2012, which is from the first week of October last year to the end of this March, we are currently second in all-day with 8.0%, and top in all three categories: golden-time with 12.8%, prime-time with 13.0%, and prime-2 with 8.7%. So, now we are at the top position for golden-time, prime-time and prime-2 and at the second position in all-day with 0.1point difference with NTV. We have been very successful in the second half of the fiscal year as well, winning quadruple crowns for the months of November and December, and though not finalized yet, another quadruple crown for this month of February as well.
Now I will continue with the average audience ratings for the January-March period. We are now in the third week of February, and so far the average audience rating is 8.2% for all-day placing us in second. We are keeping the top rating for the rest of the categories with 12.4% for golden-time, 12.7% for prime-time and 8.8% for prime-2. For all-day, we are behind the top station NTV by 0.2 points, while we are leading them by 0.1 point for golden-time and by 0.7 points for prime time.
As for the ratings for our individual programs, starting from the dramas in this January-March period: "AIBOU: Tokyo Detective Duo - Season 11", which is in its 2nd period as it started in the previous period in October, got average ratings of 16.8% for the first five episodes of the 2nd period beginning in January. It is the only drama aired by a commercial broadcaster in this period with ratings of over 15% and is ranked at the top. "Woman in the Crime Lab" in the Thursday Night Mystery slot got average ratings of 12.4% for the six episodes so far. "The Knife and the Sword" the first Samurai drama to be featured in the Friday Night Drama slot, got average ratings of 10.9% for the seven episodes so far. It achieved its record high of 11.8% last Friday which shows its growing popularity.
Our weekly belt programs are also doing well. Our morning show "Morning Bird !" got over 7.0% ratings for the first two weeks in February. It got 7.0% yesterday, too, which tied at the top with other commercial broadcasters. Its average audience rating in the second half of the FY2012 is 6.5%, up 0.9 points year-on-year, which is a significant improvement from the previous year. "Super-J-Channel" aired in an early evening slot is also up 0.9 points year-on-year in the second-half of the FY2012. Its average rating for the January-March period is 9.6% and was the clear number one in this slot. It is the first commercial early-evening news show to get ahead of NHK as it achieved the annual top rating for the year 2012. This show also continues to break its own record of continuous monthly top rating, as it is now in its 22nd consecutive months of being the top rated show of the slot among the commercial broadcasters. These two shows are the driving force for our ratings in the all-day category.
Now for the upcoming line-up of our major programs, we will have special programming to commemorate the 3.11 great earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011. On March 10, we will air "Let's Connect ! Nippon 2013 (tentative)" from 14:00 to 18:00. Masatoshi Nakamura will be the navigator of the program. On March 11th, we will air "ANN Special Report / Super-J-Channel Special" from 13:55. As WBC is also scheduled to air on the same day, the ending time will be announced at a later date. Also, from March 11th to the 15th, "Hodo Station" will report from the site of the 3.11 disaster with its anchor Ichiro Furutachi and other newscasters.
The long awaited "WBC" will finally start this weekend. TV Asahi will air the first-round of games on March 2nd and 3rd, the second-round of games on March 8th onwards, until the final round on March 20th. We are also planning to cover the "FIFA World Cup Brazil Asian Qualifiers Japan vs. Jordan", on March 26th. The match will take place in Jordan, and although the exact time of broadcast is yet to be decided, we are thinking of airing around the 22:00 slot.
The year-on-year sales figures for the month of January were: 103.2% for the time-sales, 106.5% for the spot-sales, making the final total sales 104.8%. For the fifth consecutive year, we ranked top in prime-time for special programs aired during the three days of the New Year Holiday. Advertisers and advertising agencies are appreciative of our past results, enabling us to sell commercial time at a much higher unit price than last year. The programs aired during the three days include "Aibou: Tokyo Detective Duo - New Year Special" and "Who is the Sports King by the Tunnels".
As for our spot sales, sales in the Tokyo region have started to outperform last year's level for the first time since six months ago, when the region registered year-on-year loss due to several factors including the shift of budget to the London Olympics. It is under such circumstances that we achieved 106.5%. Our status of having "the top annual prime-time rating" has helped us boost our share by outperforming previous year's sales by a large margin. Our share in the spot-sales in January grew from 21.7% to 22.4%.
The sales figures of February are: more than 104% for time-sales, more than 102% for spot-sales, making the current total sales more than 103%. As for time-sales, we expect the sale figures to outperform last year's figures by a large margin as a result of the high sales profit from "The Farthest Galaxy", a two-night consecutive drama aired on February 2nd and 3rd, as well as the programming of the two "WBC" send-off games, of which one is being broadcast today. As for spot-sales, the situation in the Tokyo area is slow and now just about to reach last year's level. But in spite of such circumstances, our station is doing better than last year. I think we can keep up this momentum and continue to increase our share.
The sales figures of March are: more than 109% for time-sales, more than 91% for spot-sales, making the total sales to more than 98% as of now. We expect time-sales to largely outperform last year's figures as a result of one-off big sports events like baseball's WBC and soccer's "FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ". As for spot-sales, because of the financial trend of weaker yen and higher stock prices since the launch of the Abe administration, we think that there will be substantial surplus budget at the end of the fiscal year to be spent on advertisement. So we are now continuing to make thorough efforts in sales activities aiming to outperform the sales level of last year.
Revenues from Non-broadcasting Businesses:
First of all, I would like to talk about scheduled events. "Tetsuko's Room Classic Concert" will be held on March 4th at Suntory Hall. As you know, "Tetsuko's Room Concert" by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi was held last year for the 7th time in Tokyo and Osaka, and we now have this "classic-version" as a new project. The host of the concert will be Tetsuko Kuroyanagi who is well versed in classical music, and a wide variety of musicians from veterans to young artists will be the guest performers. The audience gets to enjoy both the performance and talks of these first class musicians. The guest performers include the pianist Hiroko Nakamura, the violinist Sachiko Takashima together with her 12 violinists, the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) player Dozan Fujiwara, and the cellist Nobuo Furukawa. The MC leading the event will be TV Asahi's announcer Naoki Tsuboi, who himself plays the violin. Tickets were sold out immediately after they went on sale. Another event is "Jimon Terakado's Food-Park: No kidding! Too delicious! The Dream Gourmet Market!", produced by Jimon Terakado of Dachouclub (a comedian unit). This event was held twice in the past and the events were very successful both times. It will be held in Shinjuku Keio Department Store for one week from March 14th to 20th. It is an event at a department store produced by Terakado who is known as an optimum gourmet in the entertainment industry. The main vendors are famous meat shops, and there will be eat-ins, demonstration sales, take-outs and more. Space for previous events have been rather small and limited, but the event will be hled in a much larger venue with many more participating vendors. I am sure everyone will enjoy the event.
I will move on to the topics related to program-related contents. "Doraemon:the Movie:Nobita in the Secret Gadgets Musuem" will be released on March 9th and the video streaming service prior to the release has been in good demand. We are streaming 27 Doraemon videos including two movies. The service available for unlimited access and can be viewed via "dVIDEO", a service provided by Docomo and TeleAsa Doga. Monthly fee for the service is 525yen. The service started on February 15th, and within the 11 days as of February 26th, it has reached the top in "Television/ comprehensive ranking" on the "dVideo" platform. Other videos from TeleAsa Doga are popular as well. The catch-up video service for "Doctor-X", the drama that achieved the highest audience ratings last year, was also extremely popular and the number of viewings was twice as much of the most-viewed contents in the past. Responding to the requests from these fans, we decided to make "Doctor-X" into a DVD. It will be released on March 20th. Bonus footage includes collection of interviews with the main actress, Ryoko Yonekura, and other casts and making-of footages that can't be seen anywhere else including the heart-moving end of shooting scene. I hope it sells well.
"Onegai Ranking" is now collaborating with Lawson, a Japanese convenience store. In the "Gourmet Academy Special Edition" aired on January 8th, famous Chef Kawagoe and Chocolatier Saito produced new varieties of Lawson's popular food "spicy fried chicken". The first line is "chicken-and-burdock rice flavor", the second is "olive flavor", and the third is "chicken-and-egg rice bowl flavor". They went on sale in January and February, and more than 1 million pieces for each kind have been sold already. Now they have become hit products with a total sale of more than 3.3 million pieces. This is again another one of the success stories from the collaboration between "Onegai Ranking" and Lawson.
I will move on to films. "Tokyo Family", directed by Yoji Yamada and produced by Shochiku Company, was released on January 19th. It is currently in its 6th week and in the 37 days since its release, it has had 1,471,971 in audience numbers and box office sales amounting to more than1.55 billion yen. We expect that the box office sales will continue to rise in the same way as other movies directed by Yamada, "Kabei: Our Mother" and "Otouto: About Her Brother", which had long runs in the theaters. "Tokumei-sentai Gosei-ger vs Shinken-ger", produced by Toei and released on January 19th, has 428,341 in audience numbers and box office revenue of 424,820,000 yen so far. Compared with "Gosei-ger vs Shinken-ger" released last year during the same period, it is up 119.2% and has reached our target, and is still doing well at many theaters.