Press Conference by President Shinichi Yoshida (Outline)
|February 24th, 2015|
Shinichi Yoshida, President
Audience Rating Update:
Supported by the good performances of our dramas such as "Aibou: Tokyo Detective Duo Season 13" and "Doctors: The Ultimate Surgeon -Season3", our position in the audience ratings in this first quarter (January-March term) so far is 2nd place for all-day, golden-time, prime-time and prime-time2. In terms of the audience rating result for the fiscal year ending in March 2015, which is only a little more than a month away, we are now placed at the 3rd for golden-time among all broadcasters and the 2nd among all commercial broadcasters. We are running in hot pursuit of NHK currently positioned at the 2nd place. I do hope that we can finish this fiscal year at the 2nd place in all three categories, all-day, golden and prime, and give us a momentum to jump-start the new fiscal year.
We have 34 days left till the end of FY2014 and the average annual ratings as of now are 7.1% for all-day and 10.8% for golden-time, both placing us the 2nd among all commercial broadcasters and, as President Yoshida just mentioned, only 0.1 point away from NHK. We tied with NHK once last week, but we aim to surpass NHK by the end of this fiscal year and achieve the 2nd place in our own right. We are placed 2nd for prime-time with 11.3% and 1st for prime-2 with 7.3%. We expect to finish 2nd for all-day for three consecutive years and for the 5th time since the launch of the station. For golden-time, we expect to finish 2nd or better among all commercial broadcasters for three consecutive years and for the 3rd time since the launch of the station. As for prime-time, we expect to finish 2nd or better for three consecutive years and for the 5th time since the launch of the station: we were at runner-up in 2005 and 2007 and we were at the top in 2012 and 2013. As for prime-2, we expect to finish as the top for 10 consecutive years.
As for the rating updates for the first quarter (January-March term), the ratings as of now are: 7.5% for all-day, 12.0% for golden-time, 12.3% for prime-time and 7.5% for prime-2, which place us 2nd in all categories at moment.
I will report on the dramas in this first quarter. "Aibou: Tokyo Detective Duo Season 13" has an average audience rating of 18.2% in this quarter so far and it is keeping its position as the runaway leader among all drama series aired by commercial stations. Also, "Doctors: The Ultimate Surgeon-Season3" had an average rating of 14.4% for the 7 episodes so far and it is keeping the 2nd place among all drama series aired by commercial stations in the 1st quarter. "AIBOU" and "DOCTORS" are the very strong driving forces for us now.
As for the upcoming major line-ups, we will broadcast "ISU World Team Trophy 2015" from April 16th to 19th. And, as it was already disclosed by some sources, "Beat Takeshifs Sports Champions 2015 ` Featuring Ninety-Nine `" will make a come-back on March 22nd, for the first time after 25 years. On March 11th, the 4th memorial day of the Great Earthquake Disaster,, "Morning Bird" will be extended and "Super J Channel" will be programmed as a special program from 2 ofclock in the afternoon to 7 in the evening.
The year-on-year sales results for the month of January are 108.3% for time-sales and 99.0% for spot-sales, making the total sales of 103.6%. As for time-sales, the big-ticket sales for "AFC Asian Cup 2015" and special programs featured for the New Yearfs Holidays (January 1st to 3rd) helped to raise profit and we were able to extend our sales figures. As for spot-sales, the market in Tokyo area was doing well with 104.0%, but due to decreasing slots for spot-sales affected by "Asian Cup" programming etc., we were not able to reach the sales level of previous year, which was a record high.
The year-on-year sales results of February so far are: more than 90% for time-sales and more than 78% for spot-sales, making the total figure of more than 83%. We do not expect time-sales to reach last yearfs level as there is nothing equivalent to "Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics" this year. As for spot-sales, backlash effect of "the last minute demand prior to the rise in consumer tax" last year makes it difficult to achieve more sales. Also, because our spot-sales share surpassed CX and recorded record-high for a single month in February last year, we are now experiencing a bigger rebound than other TV stations and we are expecting our share to go down this time.
The year-on-year sales results for the month of March so far are: more than 87% for time-sales and 78% for spot-sales, making the total figure of more than 81%. We expect time-sales to fall behind last yearfs level since there are no large-scale special programs such as 55th Anniversary Two Consecutive Nights Drama Special "Musashi Miyamoto". From now on, our strategy is to give our best effort to improve our sales of one-off programs lined up for the turn of the financial year. Spot-sales on the other hand has recovered from February, but the reaction to "the last minute demand prior to the rise in consumer tax" does still exist and we ex pect our figures to fall a little short of last yearfs level. That being said, we have concluded new large-scale campaigns with some advertisers, and the leftover marketing budgets at the end of the term are coming out slowly, so we are now buckled up to make a final push in our sales activities.
Revenues from Non-broadcasting Business:
My first report is on our portal business. We have launched a subscription based "all you can watch" video streaming service on December 1st last year called "NJPW WORLD" (NJPW=New Japan Professional Wrestling) as our first project in the portal business. It is a joint venture with NJPW and the number of membership is increasing steadily. The NJPW match at Tokyo Dome held on January 4th this year has boosted the number of subscriber and currently the total subscription amounts to 21,525.
Next is on video streaming business and international contents business. Video streaming of the Thursday Night Drama "Doctor-X `Surgeon Michiko Daimon`", offered as a pay-per-view service, has broken its own highest record in sales established last year, and now it has achieved the highest sales in video streaming of a drama series in the history of TV Asahi. Compared with the last yearfs result, it is up 139.31%, and its synergy effect helped to increase sales of its previous episodes aired in 2013 and 2012 as well. Its international sales is 1.8 times more than that of last year, and marked the highest international sales record@as a drama as well.
I will continue with our event business. "Sekigahara 2015" (tentative English title), a grand scale original exhibition which we have been preparing for more than four years, will finally start at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Ryogoku on March 28th. As we have informed you before, we have appointed Anne, a popular actress known as a "Rekijo", a nickname given for a women strongly interested in history - to become a special reporter for this event. At the "Sekigahara 2015", the oldest existing folding screen depicting the Battle of Sekigahara, armors of Ieyasu Tokugawa and other weapons and armors of Ieyasu and his Four Supporting Warlords, and many more will be shown together to give an overall picture of the battle. The exhibits will also include Mitsunari Ishidafs favorite sword "Masamune", samurai warrior helmet of Sakon Shima, and swords of Yoshitsugu Otani. 7 national treasures and 60 important cultural properties will be exhibited at the three venues and we believe it will be a once in a lifetime spectacular exhibition that is worth visiting. The exhibition is structured in such a way that it is easy to understand and fun to watch including the Georama projection mapping depicting the Battle of Sekigahara in 3D, to which Anne is also looking forward. So please come and enjoy the exhibition.
My next report is on Paul McCartney who will bring his show back to Japan again. The concert of ex-Beatles member Paul McCartney was planned as the very last event of the National Stadium (demolished to be reconstructed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics) last year but cancelled due to reasons beyond his control. Now it is all set that his concerts in Japan will take place again. When we announced this last month, many media sources picked this up and reported on it extensively. We are currently taking advance reservations and it is going very well. I have heard that he has recovered fully, and I firmly believe that he will perform his best and live up to the expectations of his fans. The Tokyo concerts will be on April 23rd (Thursday), 25th (Saturday) and 27th (Monday) at the Tokyo Dome, and the Osaka concert will be on the 21st (Tuesday) at the Kyocera Dome Osaka.
On an incident of emergency transport of a cast during the filming of a show: update on the investigation on the cause of the incident/ the current health condition of the cast:
First of all, I would like to express my deep apology to the cast who was victimized by the incident and her family and the people involved. On behalf of TV Asahi I sincerely wish her a fast recovery. She is still in a hospital, but I heard that she has fully recovered her consciousness and has been transferred to the general ward. This gives us some relief. We are taking this incident very seriously, and following the press conference, we have established an in-house investigation committee to execute factual investigation to determine the cause. We have also received inquiries from the police as well as from the Consumer Affairs Agency and we are responding to those inquires in good faith providing them with necessary information. Based on the ongoing investigations carried out by the committee, we will take preventive measures and we will work harder on our safety administration in the future. As to her physical condition, her consciousness is fully recovered and moved to a general ward to receive further treatment and we are told that the date for her discharge is now being planned. We would rather not give any further information including her medical treatments and recovery status in consideration of the feelings and thoughts of her family as well as keeping her privacy.
Comments by President Yoshida on Opinions submitted by the Broadcasting Ethics & Program Improvement Organization (BPO)
We have received very serious indications. Especially, the two points which we very much regret were officially recognized as violations of journalistic ethics. We are taking it extremely seriously. BPO had analyzed the case very thoroughly and pointed out that news department is now running constantly against time which has forced them to work in divided specialized groups. But at the same time, their opinion clearly states that "pressures of time limits or working in divided specialized group does not give any excuse to the case", and I canft agree more. Since we are professionals in news broadcast, it is a matter of survival to maintain high quality no matter how busy we are or how much the process is divided into specialized groups. So I have strongly urged the company staff to maintain high standard of quality and never to be forced by a pressure to slip into speed-before-quality solutions.