Press Conference by President Shinichi Yoshida(Outline)
|July 1, 2014|
Hiroshi Hayakawa, Chairman & CEO
The Aim of TV Asahifs New Structure:
I have assumed the post of Chairman and CEO as of June 27th. In my new role, I would like to ask you again for your continued support. As Ifve already told everyone, one of the reasons for this change is my reaching the age of retirement as president. But since I took the office of presidency, especially during the past 2-3 years, the business performance of TV Asahi has picked up significantly. And in order to keep up this momentum and upward flow, I have asked the people concerned to let me continue to manage the company as its chief executive officer by assigning the role of Chairman and CEO to me. At the same time, in order to cope with the current media business environment that is undergoing major transitions and drastic changes as well as expansion of business, Mr. Yoshida has joined us as President to contribute with his expertise, knowledge and his wide human network. So both the process and the aim of creating this new structure is based on our consensus on the best possible way to move forward into the future while keeping a sharp eye on what is going on right now.
We have had a similar structure led by a Chairman and a President in the past. A frequent disadvantage of this type of structure in a company in general is when there is a difference between the two at the top in the way they do business, perceive business, and think about business. When such difference exists, it will cause much trouble to both board members and employees who try to follow their lead. Such trouble may slow down business activities, and it may even have a danger of stopping favorable flows in business. Well, the point I want to make is that the President and I are well aware of such responsibilities as we execute our roles as the two heads at the top, and we will cooperate and make an effort to understand one another, and by keeping good communication, we will work together with the single aim of doing what needs to be done to improve our business performances. And I believe Mr. Yoshida has brilliant resources to do that. We have already made our corporate management plan very clear to you. The plan has been declared as the gSecond Stage of the Digital 5 Visionh that carries on the basic principles of the gDigital 5 Visionh which has achieved much success, and all we have to do now is to execute the plan set forth for the second stage. To put it simply, we have designated integrated programming of the 3 broadcast waves as gour core businessh, and the internet and gMedia Cityh business as gour high growth businessh, and the immediate focus of our efforts will be on the recovery of audience ratings and gTV Asahi & Roppongi Hills: Summer Festival - SUMMER STATIONh , which is going to be the kick-off project of our gMedia Cityh scheme.
A Word from the New President
On this occasion, let me tell you once again that I very much look forward to working with you. I canft help but become nervous for accepting such a heavy responsibility at a time when media is undergoing drastic changes, and TV Asahi Corporation has undertaken a new company structure of TV Asahi Holdings to face this turning point of media business. I am a newcomer in the television industry, so it is going to be a big challenge for me. I will do my very best to meet your expectations. Mr. Hayakawa has given me his reassurance that I should gmanage the company with a fresh perspectiveh, so I am committed to put my all-out effort in that way. I joined this company as an advisor two months ago on April 1st and have taken part in many activities including events. And even I who was an outsider before could feel the bustling and vibrant energy within the company helped by the strong performance of the past 2-3 years. I will keep up this momentum if not boost it up even further with the cooperation and understanding from Mr. Hayakawa and experienced colleagues in the management. I am determined to work hard towards the goals set by the ongoing corporate management plan. And as Mr. Hayakawa has mentioned our corporate management plan is already there, and I have made it clear to all my colleagues at the time when I took the office that my mission at hand is to realize its goal as soon as possible. But, having said that, for me this is a new industry and a new company and I need to get used to this environment and work as soon as possible. That is to say, I think my immediate and crucial task and responsibility is to have a deeper understanding of the current status and issues of the business. I have just asked our staff members that I would like to carry on my role by exchanging opinions with them by visiting the actual job sites of the TV industry. I will tackle my work with humility and with a brand new slate.
Audience Ratings for the First Quarter (April-June):
As for audience ratings so far, we are currently placed second for all-day and prime, and second among commercial broadcasters for golden-time. These are the results of the first quarter of this FY, and the standings for annual audience ratings are the same. However, the current status is such that the top is leading us by a wide margin, and other stations are closing the gap. As I have been telling you, we want to create an upward momentum in the July-September period with the gSummer Festivalh and special programs we have made in conjunction with it, and eventually get back the ratings in an upward trend by this fall. It is difficult to be optimistic in this situation, but I am not pessimistic either. We have been among the top three since 7-8 years ago and we competed for the top position during the last 2 years. However, to be honest, as we reviewed our position in the process of setting up our corporate management plan, discussing issues for half a year from last September basing ourselves on our experience of competing for top position, we reached the conclusion that it would take a lot of time to be at the top in all categories. There are many weaknesses and issues to be overcome, and we came up with an estimation that we would need about 5 years to get to the stage of winning the triple or quadruple crown, both in name and in reality. Such estimation includes that of sales figures as well. The plan aims at reaching that stage in 5 years, which will be our 60th anniversary. Within the next 5 years we would like to be competing on that top level again with steady rating results. Therefore, it would be ideal if we could be 2-3 years ahead of schedule, carrying out strategies, taking on challenges and clearing them one by one, and then reach the level to compete for triple crowns or even quadruple crowns. We have been competing with our challenging spirit all this while, and now is the time to start anew and take on the challenge from scratch.
Updates on Future Programming:
Our upcoming major lineups are going to be collaborations with a large-scale event gTV Asahi & Roppongi Hills: Summer Festival - SUMMER STATIONh to be held from July 19th to August 24th. For example, we are thinking of using the Arena of Roppongi Hills as a venue for gMusic Station 3 Hours Specialh to be aired on July 25th and hope to carry out other large scale events in collaboration. Other than the festival related lineups, we have special dramas such as gDrama Special: Special Samurai Drama: A Hit-to-Killh and gDrama Special: Hakugin Jackh in the lineup. We are also preparing gLiving on a Deserted Islandh to be ready for the lineup as it was a very successful Summer Festival event last year with a 500,000 audience gathered at the TV Asahi Atrium. We hope wefll be able to have it collaborated as another successful event at the Festival as well.
The year-on-year sales results for the month of May are 101.5% for time-sales, 103.4% for spot-sales, making the total sales of 102.6%. We have been able to exceed last yeares level in all categories. The contributing factors for the time-sales are our success in raising the standard fee base for regular programs and successful accumulation of sales of gAFC Womenfs Asian Cuph . Spot sales was good, too, as the general condition has recovered from April, when there was a year-on-year loss due to the consumption tax hike, and the year-on-year figure of the Tokyo area exceeded last year es level as a result.
The year-on-year sales result for the month of June so far are more than 116% for time-sales, more than 102% for spot-sales, making the total sales of more than 109%. As for time-sales, sales for gFIFA World Cup Brazilh , gThe U.S. Open Championshiph and gThe U.S. Womenfs Open Championshiph are doing well and have exceeded last yearfs level already. As for spot-sales, we think the condition continues to be good as in May, but as broadcast stations have shifted advertisement slots to time-sales because of the World Cup, we are estimating its final result to stay at the same level as that of the previous year. We expect the following business sectors to do well: gcosmetic/household detergenth, ghousehold productsh, and gservice /entertainmenth.
Revenues from Non-broadcasting Businesses:
gThe Special Exhibition: Takehiko Inoue Interprets Gaudifs Universeh will open very soon. This exhibition will open next week on July 12th at the Mori Arts Center Gallery as a part of gTV Asahi & Roppongi Hills: Summer Festival - SUMMER STATIONh . It will be a forerunner event of the festival featuring the two artists who are the pride of the nation of Spain and Japan representing the two different cultures. It is an innovative exhibition that presents a collaboration beyond time and space between the Spanish Maestro Architect Antonio Gaudi, who designed Sagrada Familia, a church building registered as a World Heritage, and the Japanese cartoonist Takehiko Inoue, who is known for his masterpieces gSlam Dunkh and gVagabondh. The highlight of the exhibition is a huge painting of 10.7 meters wide and 3.3 meters high by Inoue. It is painted on one of the largest piece of hand woven Japanese paper in the world produced in Echizen. The exhibition is also designated as the final major event commemorating the 400 years of exchange between Japan and Spain. The exhibition will be held for 58 days from July 12th (Sat) to September 7th.
Investment in Films
First, the movie gAibou-The Movie3-Locked Island! Special Mission in the Midst of the Oceanh has had a total audience of 1,706,877 in 66 days as of yesterday (June 30th) and has surpassed the 2,100,000,000 yen mark in box office revenue with 2,111,860,000 yen. gCrayon Shin-chan: This is serious! Robo-Daddy Fights Backh has almost finished and was a great hit, marking the third best result of all the Crayon-Shinchan series so far, with a total audience of 1,512,418 and a box office revenue of 1,790,740,000 yen. Just for the record, this figure is 140.3% compared against the previous movie.