Press Conference by President Shinichi Yoshida (Outline)
|May 26th, 2015|
Shinichi Yoshida, President
Audience Rating Update:
I will report on our audience ratings for the first quarter (April to June) so far. We are placed at the second place in all categories including all-day, golden, prime-time, and prime-2. Among the new programs starting in April, the Thursday Drama gIfm Homeh starring Takuya Kimura, who, for the first time, plays a main role in our serial drama, had a very good average rating of 14.2% for its first six episodes. It is now leading at the top among all the serial dramas aired by commercial broadcasters during this quarter, and we are very pleased with this outcome. Ifm watching it every week, too, and my expectation gets even higher towards the final phase. And our new variety show gNow I Know!! Akira Ikegami Explains the Newsh (tentative English title) aired on Saturday at 20:00 has achieved the top rating among all stations in prime-time as a new variety show starting in April. Among our continuing regular programs, shows such as gOsamu Hayashi's Now or Never Infotainmenth and gCream Quiz Miracle 9h are doing well also, and I hope they will continue to be strong.
Our audience ratings for the first quarter as of now are 6.7% for all-day, 10.6% for golden-time, 10.8% for prime-time and 6.8% for prime 2, placing us second in all categories. Among them, the Thursday Drama gIfm Homeh starring a gorgeous cast led by Takuya Kimura and Aya Ueto had 16.7% for its first episode and an average rating of 14.2% for its six episodes so far, leading now at the top among all dramas aired by commercial broadcasters. Also, gNew Tokyo Metropolitan Police First Investigation Unit 9h, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, shows steady performance and is ranking 5th among serial dramas aired by commercial broadcasters during this quarter. As for variety shows, they are doing well with gNow I Know!! Akira Ikegami Explains the Newsh (tentative English title) at the top andgShikujiri Teacher`Learn from Mistakes!hon Mondays at 20:00 ranking second among all new prime-time variety shows aired by all stations. As for our continuing shows, gOsamu Hayashi's Now or Never Infotainmenth and gCream Quiz Miracle 9h are doing well, as mentioned before. As for one-off programs, gISU World Team Trophy 2015h performed solidly and year-on-year ratings for golden-time went up 0.2 point.
I will continue with annual audience ratings. They are currently 7.1% for all-day, 11.3% for golden-time, 11.5% for prime and 7.1% for prime 2, placing us second in all categories. As for ratings for golden-time and prime-time, we are placed right in the middle of the top and the third. As for prime 2, we are competing head to head with the top runner for both the first quarter and the annual ratings.
As for the other new prime-time variety shows, gStunning Revelations - A Variety Show with Real Buddhist Monksh aired on Monday at 19:00 is ranked 5th. And gCream Stew Presents a Hall of Superiorityh (tentative English title) aired on Sunday is ranked 4th. I think that our four new shows are doing relatively well considering the fact that launching a new variety show, as you well know, is a difficult task. And, gShikujiri Teacher`Learn from Mistakes!h and gStunning Revelations - A Variety Show with Real Buddhist Monksh were both originally launched in the neo-variety 2 slots (a category name given to variety shows aired between 24:00 and 1:00) last autumn and moved up to golden-time in only half a year. Making such achievements in only half a year is very promising. Matsuko Deluxefs gStrolling Streets at Nighth(tentative English title) launched in the neo-variety 2 slot has now an average rating of 6.6%, and a share of 27.7%. The show obtained its highest rating of 7.8% last week and I think that proves it has got off to a good start. As for the other shows in the all-day category, gLife Paradiseh aired on Saturday at 18:00 has an average of 11.8% so far in the present quarter and it has marked a record of achieving over 10% ratings for 30 consecutive weeks for the first time since the launch of the program in October, 2000. I think getting two digit ratings in this time slot is really great. And I am also satisfied with the fact we have 1.4 points increase over the best rating we have had for the first quarter in the past. gHodo Station SUNDAYh was moved to Sunday afternoon and the show has an average rating of 7.2% this quarter, which is 0.5 points increase year-on-year from the average rating of the same time slot.
Now, I will introduce our main lineup from now on. Major sports events are lined up one after another. gKirin Challenge Cup, Japan vs. Iraqh will kick off at 19:00, June 11th. We also have the broadcasting rights to g2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: Asian 2nd Qualifiers, Japan vs. Singaporeh scheduled on June 16th which will be the first match for the Japanese national team this season. And from the latter part of June, major golf events will take place consecutively. From June 18th there is gThe 115th U.S. Open Golf Championshiph and from July 9th, gThe 70th U.S. Womenfs Open Golf Championshiph and from July 16th gThe 144th Open Championshiph will start. And in professional baseball, gMAZDA All Stars Game 2015h will take place on July 17th and 18th, both of which will be exclusively broadcast by TV Asahi. And gFINA World Championship, Kazan, Russia 2015h will start in the latter part of July.
The drama series, gIfm Homeh is getting good ratings. What do you think is the reason behind the viewersf support?
The storyline is attractive as it takes an unexpected turn each time with the mystery developing further in every episode. It makes the viewers look forward to the next episode. And the protagonist, Takuya Kimurafs acting is very moving and touches our hearts as he gets bewildered and hesitant by the circumstances surrounding himself, which I believe is one of the factors that is attracting the viewers. Many of the reviews on the media also comment favorably on Takuya Kimurafs acting, so I do think he is contributing very much to the success of the drama.
We have received comments from the viewers saying that with Takuya Kimura playing a type of role he has never played before, this drama may become the best drama that TV Asahi has ever produced. I think the depth and breadth of Kimuraf acting has won the support of the viewers.
Are there any new drama series in the second quarter that are already decided?
There is the series gSeven Detectivesh to be aired at 21:00 on Wednesday. A line up of popular actors such as Noriyuki Higashiyama and Kinya Kitaoji among others will make up the cast. We think this series will be one of our best series next only to gAIBOU: Tokyo Detective Duoh. And for the Thursday Night Mystery slot, we will have a new series featuring the two leading players from our Kyoto series as the main characters of a single series. The drama is entitled gKyoto Victim Care Investigation Fileh featuring Isao Hashizume of gGuide to the Labyrinths of Kyotoh and Yuko Natori of gA Woman Prosecutor: the Kyoto District Public Prosecutors Officeh as the double leading players of the new series. The Thursday Night Drama slot will feature gAge Harassmenth (tentative English title) starring Emi Takei. Both the original novel and the script are written by Makiko Uchidate. The Friday Night Drama slot will feature gWise and Foolishh starring Kenichi Endo and Masaki Suda, and it is going to be the first time for TV Asahi to dramatize a novel written by Jun Ikeido.
gTetsukofs Roomh will be celebrating its 10,000th broadcast. What is the secret behind its success and do you have plans for the future?
The reason why it has such a long life span is all due to the talent and the personality of Tetsuko Kuroyanagi herself. If you do it every day for ten years, it is still only 3,650 times. 10,000 times is such a gigantic number, and her effort must be beyond all imagination. Ms. Kuroyanagi sums it up modestly by saying g10,000 times was possible only because of the guests who were willing to appearh, but I think it wouldnft have been possible without her wonderful personality that is so warm and patient, without any pretention, and full of sympathy and curiosities. The entire TV Asahi regards her as our corporate treasure, and we held a small in-house celebration ceremony for the occasion the other day to express our heartfelt wish for her talk show to last forevermore.
We really owe everything to Tetsuko-sanfs personality. I also admire her being so healthy that she didnft miss one single time during the 10,000 shootings. So many different people have appeared on gTetsukofs Roomh. I hear that celebrities including Hollywood stars and those who are quite reluctant to appear on other shows are happy to be guests on gTetsukofs Roomh. I think that is also one of the reasons why it has continued for 10,000 times. She herself says gThere are still years ahead until I reach ninetyh, but I hope she wonft stop at ninety but would continue to do the show to reach the 12,000th time or even the 15,000th time.
I will talk about the sales results for April. The year-on-year results for the month of April are 107.3% for time-sales, 91.0% for spot-sales, making the total sales of 98.0%. As for time-sales, gISU World Team Trophy 2015h led the sales and the result is 7.3% up year-on-year. As for spot-sales, on the other hand, the result was a negative 91.0% against the previous year. The objective situation of spot-sales in the whole Tokyo area is that it will not achieve last yearfs level. And on top of that, the decrease in advertisements which started in February from industries such as finance, where we are usually good at, had continued into April.
As for the year-on-year results for May so far, they are more than 99% for time-sales, more than 88% for spot-sales, making the total sales of more than 93%. As for time-sales, there is no large-scale special planned for this month, and we are now trying our best to secure sales surpassing the level of previous year. As for spot-sales, the Tokyo area is expected to perform below last yearfs level, and the market situation is still unable to pick up any momentum. We expect our sales to underperform last yearfs level as well.
As for the year-on-year sales results in June so far, they are more than 74% for time-sales, more than 57% for spot-sales, making the total sales of more than 65%. As already introduced in the upcoming lineup, we have several large scale sports coverage for time-sales in June such as gKirin Challenge Cup, Japan vs. Iraqh on June 11th and g2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: Asian 2nd Qualifiers, Japan vs. Singaporeh. We will put every effort to sell these sports programs successfully. As for spot-sales, the situation in June is similar to that of April and May underperforming last yearfs level, but we have seen noticeable pick up last week. We are keeping our watch carefully hoping the move will continue this week.
Revenue from Non-broadcasting Businesses:
Our original major large scale exhibition, gSekigahara: Marking the quarto-centennial of the death of Ieyasu Tokugawah closed its scheduled term of exhibition at the Tokyo venue on May 17th. The exhibition will now move to the Kyoto venue from this coming Tuesday on June 2nd. The 48 days of the exhibition held at Edo-Tokyo Museum located in Ryogoku recorded 225,000 visitors, way past our target figure. It is a record breaking number for both the total number of visitors as well as the daily number of visitors at the museum for an exhibition on Japanese culture. Now that its Tokyo venue is closed with such a big success, we feel the project of exhibiting the battle of Sekigahara, the crucial turning point of the modern history of Japan, with total exhibits of 300 items including more than 60 exhibits designated as national treasures and important cultural properties, is indeed an event of unprecedented scale in the number of gauthentich items exhibited and together with the concept of having the exhibition tour at three major venues in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka have been very highly appreciated. And the factors that led to this record breaking number of visitors lie in our success in arousing interest among the young and the women, especially young women who show a keen interest in Japanese history and its armories known as gRekijoh (literary translates as gHistory-Girlsh) and gTokenJyoshih (gKnives/Swords-Girlsh). The exhibition succeeded in becoming a much-talked-of event. The talking-guide recorded by Ann, the actress known for being a gRekijoh, was a very popular feature of the exhibition. The major attractions at the exhibition starting in Kyoto at The Museum of Kyoto would be: gHatsuhanah, one of the most prominent tea containers from Kara(China); wooden figure of seated Ieyasu Tokugawa enshrined at Chionin at Higashiyama, Kyoto; Kabuto (armor mask) of Takatora Todo who fought for Tokugawa; the portraits of major figures including Hideaki Kobayakawa, Tadaoki Hosokawa, and Terumasa Ikeda. gHatsuhanah would probably become the highlight of the exhibits, as it was first owned by Nobunaga Oda, then it went to Ieyasu Tokugawa, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Hideie Ukita, then back to Ieyasu. So the exhibition gSekigaharah will offer a different enjoyment from that of Tokyo venue.
The next event to report is gTokyo Metropolitan Rock Festival 2015h, gMetRockh for short, which is also our original project that was held for the third time this year on May 23rd (Sat) and May 24th (Sun) at Wakasu Park in Shinkiba. A total of 40,000 attended the festival and it closed with success without any accidents. All together 32 groups of artists performed on the 2 days of the festival including veteran artists like Unicorn, Perfume, Maximum the Hormone, and Gesu-no-kiwami-otome, as well as up-coming popular new bands. We would like to keep it grow into a more powerful major scale Japanese rock festival that more fans will look forward to.
And the last but not the least is the lifework of Tetsuko Kuroyanagi as a stage actress, the 29th performance of her Western Comedy Series, on the 26th year since she first started the series. The comedy to be staged is gRumoursh and it is now on stage at our EX Theater Roppongi from May 16th (Sat) through May 31st (Sun). It is a masterpiece of the world famous playwright of comedies, Neil Simon, and it is known to create gmore than 700 bursts of laughter per single performanceh. It is going to be her fourth performance of this play in her Western Comedy Series. If you havenft seen Ms. Kuroyanagi as a comedienne yet, make sure you wonft miss this chance.
The two animation films are doing extremely well. First of all, gMovie Crayon Shin-chan: My Moving Story! Cactus Large Attack!h was released on April 18th and now its box-office sales has exceeded 2,000,000,000 yen. The total number of audience is now 1,725,634 and the total box-office sales is 2,019,010,000 yen as of now. It is expected to break the second record high sales of 2,060,000,000 yen achieved by gThe Secret Treasure of Buri Buri Kingdomh, which was released at the time when Crayon Shin-chan was boasting 20% audience ratings on TV in 1994. gMovie Doraemon: Nobitafs Space Hero Record of Space Heroesh released on March 7th has achieved the second highest sales with the total number of audience of 3,465,800 and the total box-office sales of 3,885,000,000 yen. It has exceeded gNobita and the Island of Miraclesh released in 2012 which was second highest until now and now gMovie Doraemon: Nobitafs Space Hero Record of Space Heroesh is officially the second highest. So all in all, both gDoraemonh and gCrayon Shin-chanh are doing very, very well.