Press Conference by President Hiroshi Hayakawa(Outline)

May 27, 2014


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

Audience Rating Update:

Hiroshi Hayakawa:

We are now in second position in the current annual audience ratings starting from the 1st of January 2014 for all-day, golden-time and prime-time. For the fiscal year starting in April, we are second in all-day and prime-time, and second among all commercial TV stations for golden-time. So our overall positioning in the audience ratings is in second place, but at the moment, the top station is leading us with considerable difference. Although there are positive factors such as high audience ratings of gNadeshiko Japan (AFC Womenfs Asian Cup 2014)h, the upward ratings of gBorderh and the stable performance of gHodo Stationh, I expect a tough race to continue for the rest of this quarter of April-June, of which we only have less than a month to go. I hope to raise the base level of our audience ratings in the third quarter starting in October by creating an upward momentum by special programming lined up for the next July-September quarter in conjunction with our major events such as gTV Asahi & Roppongi Hills: Summer Festival-SUMMER STATIONh. We are now trying out various ideas and some programs look quite promising, so we are expecting to establish an improved and successful programming timetable by this fall.

Takashi Hirajo:

Ifll report on the newest audience ratings. Our current annual audience ratings from January are: 7.5% for all-day, 11.2% for golden-time, and 11.8% for prime-time placing us second in the three categories. We are at the top for prime-2 with 7.7%. As for concrete figures, they are somewhere in the middle between the top and third among the commercial broadcasters. As for the April-June period, we are so far: 7.1% for all-day, 10.4% for golden-time and 11.0% for prime-time, placing us second in both all-day and prime-time, and second among commercial broadcasters in golden-time. And we are at the top for prime-2 with 7.7%. The figures for the month of May are: 7.2% for all-day, 10.8% for golden-time, 11.4% for prime-time placing us second in the three categories, and we are at the top for prime-2.

And now Ifll give updates on individual programs. As for dramas starting in the April-June period, gBorderh featured in The Thursdayfs Night Drama slot and gThe Reaper: Shinigami-kunh in The Friday Night Drama slot are doing very well. The first episode of gBorderh got only a single digit rating, but the rating kept making steady improvements by its fifth episode, and the seventh episode last week achieved 16.7% to make it the top rating prime-time drama for the week. The average rating for its 7 episodes so far is 11.8%, placing it in the fourth position among the drama series starting in this quarter. gThe Reaper: Shinigami-kunh starring Satoshi Ohno, a member of a super popular quintet called gArashih, had an average rating of 10.2% for its first 5 episodes. I think the ratings show a steady and successful growth for this time slot.

As for the reshuffled two variety shows in the prime-time slot, gThis is the key!! Akira Ikegamifs News Academyh, aired from 21:00 on Mondays had an average rating of 10.0% as of last week for its first 6 episodes. gOsamu Hayashifs Now or Never Infotainmenth, which was reshuffled to 19:00 on Tuesdays, had an average rating of 10.9% for its first 4 episodes. Ifm sure you all know very well how tough it is to start a new variety show, so both of the shows starting with a double-digit average rating deserve a credit for living up to our expectations. Next reports are on the reshuffled programs in the daytime slots. Starting from this April, we have moved the first part of gWide! Scrambleh to 10:30 a.m., and its average rating as of yesterday is 3.9% which is the top rating for this slot. Its average rating for last week was 4.4% winning the top ratings for all 5 days of the week. The figure may not look impressive as a top figure, but it is because the time slot has low HUT and this achievement shows the successful outcome of the reshuffling. As for gTetsukofs Roomh and gEmiko Kaminumafs Chitchat Cookingh, they are still far from being well-established and their ratings are currently ranked third among the commercial broadcasters. The second part of gWide! Scrambleh that follows these two shows has currently a rating of 3.8% which also ranks third for this time-slot among all the commercial broadcasters.

Now, I will report on the coming major line-ups. gThe 114th U.S. Open Golf Championshiph and the gThe 69th U.S. Women's Open Golf Championshiph are scheduled to be aired in June. And as you all know, we have the broadcasting rights of gFIFA World Cup Japan vs. Columbiah to be aired on June 25th. The broadcast will start at 4:40 a.m. in the morning.

Aims and Highlights of the Summer Festival:

Hiroshi Hayakawa:

Every station comes up with all sorts of events for summer, but our station has never held such a mega-scale event before. Now that gEx Theater Roppongih is built and the venue is open for concerts and events, the atrium lobby of TV Asahi has become a proven venue attracting 30,000 people per day whenever we hold any event, and gRoppongi Hillsh itself is a very popular destination that attracts 30,000,000 people every year, we came up with this idea of a mega event in our management plan for this year. Our management plan designates TV Asahi headquarter building, EX Theater, and Roppongi Hills as a whole to become ga media cityh, from where we offer and transmit versatile entertainments and information including our TV shows through real events. We are planning to set up special restaurants in the Arena, EX Theater and Mohri Garden. Then there is TV Asahifs lobby atrium, and there are 66 PLAZA and O-YANE PLAZA which are located on the ground floor of Roppongi Hills. We would like to connect these six places in various ways and offer versatile events and attractions. The reason why such a huge event became possible is that Mr. Tsuji, the president of the lead manager of Roppongi Hills, gMori Building Co., Ltd.h, has agreed to hold such event and offered gto open up the 66 PLAZA, O-YANE PLAZA and the Roppongi Hills Arenah for the event. The event will run for a little more than a month, and we are planning to have our TV programs collaborated into the events such as music events held at the arena and EX Theater.
Our plan is to make the best use of the entire contents of TV Asahi together with its artists and animation characters and unfold them into a three dimensional and multifaceted mega-event. If we can make it a success, we would like to make it into an annual event.

Sales Results:

Hiroshi Hayakawa:

The year-on-year results for the month of April are 100.9% for time-sales, 96.8% for spot-sales, making the total sales of 98.5%. The spot market condition of the Tokyo area for the month of April stayed at 97.2% year-on-year but the market is recovering in the month of May, so as of now we can say the impact of the consumption tax hike was a limited one. As for our share, we were able to achieve the second best figure for the month of April to date. However, unfortunately, this month we could not achieve the increase in year-on-year monthly share that we had been able to achieve for eighteen consecutive months from October 2012. The year-on-year results for the month of May are more than 101% for time-sales, more than 103% for spot-sales, making the total sales of more than 102%. For time-sales, we could boost our sales withgFIFA Womenfs World Cup Final Qualifiers / AFC Womenfs Asian Cup 2014h and we are able to exceed the year-on-year sales figure. For spot-sales, we are also able to exceed the year-on-year sales figures. The business categories that are doing well for May are pharmaceutical, cosmetic/household detergent, precision equipment/business equipment and finance/insurance. The year-on-year results for the month of June are more than 99% for time-sales, more than 93% for spot-sales, making the total sales of more than 96%. For time-sales, we are putting our sales efforts on the gFIFA World Cuph, gThe U.S. Open Golf Championshiph and gThe U.S. Womenfs Open Golf Championshiph to achieve higher year-on-year sales figure. As for spot-sales, we are expecting the ongoing positive market condition of May to continue, but as we are shifting sales slots to time-slot for the gFIFA World Cuph, we expect the spot-sale to remain the same year-on-year for both the Tokyo area as a whole and TV Asahi. The business categories that are doing well for June are: cosmetic/household detergent, household goods, and service/entertainment.

Revenues from Non-broadcasting Businesses:

Masaya Fujinoki:

First of all, I want to report on the concerts of Paul McCartney we had talked about in the previous press conference. We were one of the organizers of his concerts scheduled to be held at the National Stadium and Nippon Budokan, but the entire Japan tour including one concert in Osaka was cancelled because of his illness. We deeply apologize to all the fans who were so much looking forward to the concerts and all the people concerned for their inconveniences caused by a repeated postponement of the concert followed by an entire cancellation. I have heard that Mr. McCartney has recovered and left Japan yesterday on a chartered plane.

I will now report on two event-related businesses. We will hold a fantastic ice-show with top skaters at the end of next week. We have invited the top skaters both from Japan and abroad to perform their fantastic and powerful performances in the ice-show entitled gFantasy on Iceh for two days, June 7th (Saturday) and 8th (Sunday), in Makuhari, Chiba prefecture. This time, high-profile athletes including Sochi Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu, Daisuke Takahashi who had been taking an injury leave, and Miki Ando will all get together and give a dream-like performances. Also, Hiromi Go, a legendary pop singer, will appear as special guest. Thanks to you, all 13,000 seats are sold out. Another event is the Japanese musical version of Hollywoodfs huge hit gOceanfs Elevenh, starring Shingo Katori. It will premiere on June 9th (Monday). The venue is Tokyu Theatre Orb at Shibuya Hikarie. As you know, the original is a major entertainment film featuring top stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts with an enticing story of eleven professional crime specialists who want to score the biggest heist in history. It was a huge global box office hit. Its first musical version was produced by Takarazuka Revue with a great success. The same scriptwriter/producer of the successful Takarazuka version, Shuichiro Koike, will write and produce a new version with an all-star casts of Shingo Katori, Arisa Mizuki and Kouji Yamamoto. I have no doubt that this stage will meet everyonefs expectation. Tickets are selling extremely well.

I will also report on two contents-related matters. gAFC Womenfs Asian Cup 2014 in Vietnamh ended in great success, and so did our collaboration with Family Mart which sold related merchandise like gKatsu-Sandwichh (pork cutlet sandwich presented with a pun on gkatsuh (pork) and gwinningh in Japanese). It sold extremely well and although the sales target has already been achieved, we have extended its sales period. Our merchandizing development on gFIFA World Cuph in June has been going on well. The replica soccer jerseys with gHere is a battle of do or dieh printed on them are produced in collaboration with Adidas and they are already on sale since May the 5th, and there are going to be many more items including T-shirts, towel/scarves, etc. made in collaboration with GU to be distributed from now onto June.

Another topic is related to the publishing business. An extra edition of gBe on FireINew Japan Pro-Wrestlingh, an encyclopedia-like series of Japanese professional wrestling, will go on sale. The extra edition features a DVD of a non-edited coverage of the legendary fight gAntonio Inoki vs. Ali Mohammedh. The seriesgThe Amazing World of Fighting Comes Alive Again with the DVD. Be on Fire! New Japan Pro-Wrestling: Greatest Collection of Ultimate Matchesh has been a foundation of our publishing business. Its first volume was released in November 2011, and so far, 67 volumes have been published and more than a total of 1,800,000 copies have been sold. They are published by Kodansha. The special edition with the legendary match will go on sale on June 26th, the same day the legendary match took place 38 years ago in 1976 at Nippon Budokan. The match was aired by TV Asahi at the time, but for the first time after 38 years that it becomes a source for our content business. The DVD covers the entire event from un-edited coverage of the full 15 rounds of the match, the signing ceremony held at the Plaza Hotel in New York, press conference held prior to the match for the U.S. reporters, to the gala party. The information on this special extra edition was released on May 24th, and pre-orders are flooding in since then. It has been ranked as the top in Amazonfs best-seller ranking for magazines and it has become a hot topic on Twitter as well, all of which points to a very good start.

Takashi Hirajo:

Next, I will continue my report on the films we have invested in. It will be reports on three movies we have stake in. The first movie gAibou-The Movie3-Locked Island! Special Mission in the Midst of the Oceanh is in its 5th week since its release. The total audiences for 31 days up to yesterday are 1,568,498 and the box office revenue is 1,942,410,000 yen. It is doing very well and the revenue will soon exceed 2 billion yen. gCrayon Shin-chan: This is serious! Robo-Daddy Fights Backh is also doing extremely well. Now in its 6th week, its total audiences for 38 days up to yesterday are 1,386,467 and the box office revenue is 1,640,420,000 yen. Compared with gCrayon Shinchan Yum-Yum! B Class Gourmet Survivalh released last year, this figure is up 139%. It is the third highest among all Crayon Shinchan movies and is still going strong. And gDoraemon the Movie: New-Nobita and Daimajin: Peko and Five Adventurersh is in the last phase of its second run. As of yesterday, it had a total audience of 3,216,650 and the box office revenue of 3,538,800,000 yen. It will be another successful film expected to finish marking the third best result of all the Doraemon series so far.