Press Conference by President Hiroshi Hayakawa (Outline)

February 25, 2014


Hiroshi Hayakawa, President
Masaya Fujinoki, Executive Director
Takashi Hirajo, Member of the Board in charge of Programming and Entertainment Division

Afterthoughts on Having Won the Double Top Audience Ratings:

Hiroshi Hayakawa:

It's been a while since the accomplishment, so I will touch on that briefly and go on to talk about how we plan to make further growth in our audience ratings, a plan I've introduced within our new business plan announced just a few days ago.

As you already know, we have succeeded in getting the top annual audience ratings in golden-time, prime-time, and prime-2 (a unique time-slot designated by ourselves). We had achieved the top annual rating in prime-time for the calendar year of 2012, and the top in both golden and prime time for the fiscal year of 2012. This means we have had been involved in the race for top ratings for two years now, which, I believe, verifies the fact that our achievements are not temporary, and that makes me feel very proud of last year's rating results. As for the ratings for the fiscal year of 2013, with only a little more than a month left, although we are little short of winning the tops in the all-day and the golden-time ratings, I am hoping we will get the top in the prime-time rating.

Our current business plan was introduced in the fiscal year of 2011 to be completed at the end of the fiscal year of 2013, which is the end of March this year. The goals set in the business plan as well as in our programming strategy were to win the top audience ratings in prime-time and prime-2, and to be in the top group for all-day, as we had figured that it would be difficult to aim for the triple crown when we were at the planning stage. And as I just mentioned, we were able to achieve the goals set in 2011 ahead of time. So, our competitiveness in ratings stayed at the top level for the past two years, but at the same time we have experienced how high the hurdles are to reach the top, as we found out our weaknesses and tackled many issues. Our business plan of 2011 is the first stage of our business strategy, "TV Asahi Digital 5 Vision", and now my mind is set on stepping up further, making use of all the precious experiences we have had in the first stage and taking enough time in making each step upwards.

This is the motivation that drove me to set the goals for the second stage of "TV Asahi Digital 5 Vision", starting in 2014 fiscal year, as winning the quadruple crown in all four ratings: all-day, golden-time, prime-time, and prime-2 by the year 2018 when we celebrate our 60th anniversary. It is the very first time that we have set a quadruple crown as our goal. We have enhanced our power in our contents and production capabilities, but when we examine and analyze our abilities in every detail, our strategy calls for a certain amount of time to achieve the top ranking in all four categories.

Audience Rating Update:

Takashi Hirajo:

As of now, the annual average ratings are: 7.7% for all-day and 11.8% for golden-time placing us second in both categories, and 12.1% for prime-time and 7.8% for prime-2, placing us at the top for both categories. If we can keep up our top position in prime-time until the end of this fiscal year, it would be the second consecutive year as well as the second time ever to win the top since the launch of our station. As for prime-2, we expect to close the fiscal year as the top for 9 consecutive years.

Next is the audience ratings for the second half of the fiscal year. That means the figures are from October last year onward: 7.7% for all-day and 12.4% for golden-time placing us second in both categories, and 12.6% for prime-time and 7.7% for prime-2, placing us at the top for both categories. If we succeed in finishing this period in the top position in prime-time, it would be the fourth consecutive half-year period we win the top as well as the 4th time we are at the top in a half-year period since the launch of the station. We expect to finish the second half of this fiscal year at the top position in prime-2, which will make it the 18th consecutive half-year period we win the top since the first half of the fiscal year 2005. The 55th Anniversary Week that featured "55-hours-TV" won the quadruple crown for the weekly audience ratings for three consecutive weeks, which is the second time ever since the launch of the station. And since the anniversary week was in the second half of the fiscal year, the success of the "55-hours-TV" has contributed largely to the overall average rating of the second half of the year. Our ratings so far for the January-March term are: the second place for both all-day and prime-time, the first place for prime-2, and second among the commercial broadcasters for golden-time.

Following the overall average ratings, I will report on ratings for individual programs aired during the January-March term. As for dramas, "AIBOU: Tokyo Detective Duo Season 12" achieved an average audience rating of 17.6% for the term. It has become a season with the fourth highest rating among all the seasons of the series keeping up the average of 17.4% since its launch in October last year. In fact, "AIBOU" is the only drama that has achieved over 15% rating among all dramas of all commercial stations aired during the January-March term, which makes it a clear runaway leader. "Woman in the Crime Lab" featured in the Thursday Night Mysteries slot has an average rating of 12.9 since October. "Grill Room Investigation", featured in the Thursday Night Drama slot that launched in the January-March term, has achieved an average rating of 12.9% for the last six episodes, which makes it the fourth in the average audience rating among all the dramas of commercial stations aired during the term. Our variety shows also kept going strong during the term and all of our prime-time programs got double digit audience ratings. It should be noted that we are the only station without a program with a single digit rating in the prime-time slot for the term.

Now let me introduce our coming major lineups. This March is going to be the end of "TV Asahi 55th Anniversary Period", but we still have two more special dramas as our anniversary specials: "Drama Special-A Housekeeper's Curiosity" will be aired on March 2nd, and "2 Consecutive Nights Drama Special-Musashi Miyamoto" will be aired on March 15th and 16th. Other special programs featured in the "55th Anniversary Period" have recorded high ratings: "Taichi Yamada Drama Special: Time Doesn't Stand Still" aired last week achieved 14.7%, and a variety show special, the 2nd part of "Super-Gorgeous! One Night Only! A Dream Joint Appearance Special of Variety-MC Comedians!!" aired on February 1st achieved 16.3%, and an information show special "Akira Ikegami's Selection of News of the Last 55 Years that Changed Japan" aired on February 10th achieved 14.5%.

Sales Results:

Hiroshi Hayakawa:

The year-on-year results for the month of January are: 105.4% for time-sales, 112.1% for spot-sales, making the total sales of 108.7%. Spot-sales has continued to do well on the back of strong market conditions, surpassing last year's figure by far. Both sales and market share in January marked record highs for a single month. This made our share increase for 16 consecutive months. As for the month of February, the year-on-year sales results are: more than 102% for time-sales, more than 110% for spot-sales, making the total sales of more than 106%. The result for time-sales for "Sochi Olympics" was pretty close to our goal, and purchasing orders for spot-sales keep on coming in on the back of improved economic conditions and last minute demand prior to the rise in consumer tax. Following January, we expect to break the record highs for a single month in February as well. As for the month of March, the year-on-year sales results so far are: more than 91% for time-sales, more than 100% for spot-sales, making the total sales of more than 96%. "2 Consecutive Nights Drama Special-Musashi Miyamoto" has very good reviews from our advertisers and time-sales for the program is already sold out. The time-sales figure "91%" shows a rebound from last year, when we had "WBC" (World Baseball Classic) as well as "FIFA World Cup Brazil Asian Qualifiers". This may make it difficult to surpass last year's figure, but we have programmed various specials for the end of the fiscal year and have seen good business results from them already. As for spot-sales in March, the situation is similar to those of January and February. The market in March is brisk due to the last minute buying demand and also the good business results many companies have accomplished at the end of their fiscal year. Therefore, I think we can expect more demand than last year.

Revenues from Non-broadcasting Businesses:

Masaya Fujinoki:

I will report on two events. One is an exhibition-style project based on "AIBOU: Tokyo Detective Duo", our blockbuster drama series now going onto its 12th season. It is going to be the third of this type of event. The event will kick off at Matsuzakaya UENO in Tokyo as "AIBOU Exhibition Premium 3" next April and the exhibition will go on a tour to ten venues nationwide. It is a unique interactive exhibition with a mystery solving attraction. The script for the voice guidance is written by the screenwriter Masashi Todayama who is known for many masterpieces including the theater film versions of "AIBOU". Visitors are to enjoy solving mysteries hidden in the venue by listening to the voice guidance recorded by actors of "AIBOU". Fans will find perfect replicas of familiar sets from the drama such as the "Special Mission Officers' Room" and Ukyo Sugishita's favorite restaurant "Hana no Sato". The replica set of "Mamoru Yonezawa's" crime lab will be there, too. The costumes and props actually used in the program are all displayed at the exhibition as well to create 120% real world of "AIBOU" to be experienced by the visitors in full. The exhibition will be held at Matsuzakaya UENO from April 2nd to 15th, and it will go on an exhibition tour to ten cities including Fukuoka, Hakata, Shimonoseki and Nagoya as of now. The second event-related project is a large-scaled outdoor rock festival "Tokyo Metropolitan Rock Festival" which was first held last May and became extremely popular among music fans. We call it "Metrock" for short and its second festival will be held this year in May again at the same place at Wakasu Park in Shinkiba, Tokyo. The performing musicians are introduced in several announcements and now, up to the third announcement have been made. Pre-orders are selling very well, and we are in great hopes that we can mobilize more than 30,000 visitors during the two-day concert. Our goal is to accomplish a sellout for the second consecutive year. The list of musicians already announced include big name artists like Elephantkashimashi, KYARI PAMYU PAMYU and Perfume, and more than 30 artists will be performing at the festival.

Next, I would like to introduce two contents-business related matters. One of the content-related news has already been released: Our mascot character "Go-chan" ranked 9th in the last year's "Sanrio Character Ranking Contests". We had made a promise that if Go-chan gets voted in the best 10, he would appear in "Crayon Shinchan". And now that he got the 9th place, the promise has come true and Go-chan will appear in the episode to be aired on this Friday February 28th from 7:30 p.m. We also created a mascot item of Go-chan collaborating with Shinchan. The item is already in the market since February 4th and it is selling very well not only at TeleAsa Shops but also at online shops and Sanrio stores. And now on the 28th, you really get to see Go-chan doing many things with Shinchan on TV! We will distribute 4 additional collaboration items including mini-towels and T-shirts starting from the end of this month on the 27th. Another non-broadcasting business that we are trying hard to build up is overseas distribution of our formats. And our format of "31-Legged Race" is taking hold in Asia, and a "31-Legged Race" event will actually take place in Malaysia in March. Also, for the first time in Europe, it will take place as a major sports event during a charity event in UK. Until recently, this format had been sold to three countries, Thailand, Vietnam and China, but now that we have sold the format to 2 more countries, the event will take place in five countries altogether.

Takashi Hirajo:

I will report on the films we have invested in. We were able to take a stake in the movie "The Little House" which was directed by Yoji Yamada and premiered on January 25th. As you know, Haru Kuroki was awarded the Silver Bear, and that impact could be seen in the sudden increase of audience during the last weekend, up 166% compared to the previous weekend. The total number of audience during the 30 days up to the 23rd of February was 870,300 and the box office revenue was 910,000,000 yen. "Trick The Movie: Last Stage", which was released on January 11th, just completed its premiere round and is now going into its 7th week. During the 44 days as of this Sunday, the total number of audience was 1,330,700 and the box office revenue was 1,706,000,000 yen.