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TBS Striding Toward Strategic Growth

TBS Group’s Medium-Term Management Plan 2020

In 2016, TBS Holdings announced the TBS Group’s Medium-Term Management Plan 2018. We achieved our targets for consolidated operating income and ratio of operating income to net sales within the same fiscal year, 2 years ahead of schedule. Following these impressive results, we developed the Group’s Medium-Term Management Plan 2020. Under this new plan, the Group aims to place “TBS quality” on a firm footing by adopting 3 approaches – creating the best content; creating synergies; and fulfilling our social responsibilities – to strengthen the TBS Group’s foundation as we look toward the future, to an era in which broadcasting and communications converge and to the time after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.


Ratings on the Rise

By steadily boosting its program lineup in recent years, TBS has gained a competitive edge in the ratings battle. In FY2018, TBS’s average rating during golden time (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) ranked 2nd among commercial broadcasters for the first time in 11 years. In addition, our average ratings for the full-day segment (6 a.m. to midnight), golden time, and prime time (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) all rose from the previous year. TBS was the only major broadcaster to increase its rating and audience rating ranking in every time segment. We will continue to develop attractive content that keeps viewers tuning in.

TBS’s Audience Rating Ranking (out of five commercial broadcasters)
image*Throughout TBS Highlights 2018/19, “FY2018” refers to the year ended March 31, 2018.

Ninja Warrior Juggernaut Rolls On

ANW 2016 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Sasuke Ninja Warrior Indonesia
Ninja Warrior France

Known globally as Ninja Warrior, the sports entertainment TV series and format SASUKE has become one of TBS’s most successful global hits. The program and its localized versions have been watched by viewers in 165 nations and territories.

Overseas versions of SASUKE often refer to the challenging obstacle course as “Mt. Midoriyama,” a nod to TBS’s Midoriyama studio where the show is filmed. Many competitors and fans of the program even consider Mt. Midoriyama to be a sacred place.

SASUKE has become especially popular in the United States. In 2011, the locally produced American Ninja Warrior shifted to a prime-time slot on the NBC television network, a move that has helped the show’s popularity grow each year. In 2017, the program featured collaborations with several movies, including The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. The 10th season, which aired in 2018, was backed by a wide range of commercial goods and merchandise, including books and American Ninja Warrior products sold through major U.S. retail chain Target Corp. American Ninja Warrior was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program for three consecutive years from 2016, and was nominated in three categories in 2018.

Malaysia became the first Asian nation to produce a localized version of SASUKE in 2011, and four other countries on the continent have since followed suit. In 2014, Sweden’s Ninja Warrior Sverige became the first of 12 local versions rolled out in Europe. Ninja Warrior UK chalked up its fifth season in 2018 and Ninja Warrior France its third, indicating these programs have become established in their own right. Australian Ninja Warrior was a smash hit in 2017, with its nine episodes filling the top nine spots in Australia’s TV audience ratings for the year, and Arabian Ninja Warrior and Ninja Warrior Israel joined the SASUKE family in the Middle East. As of August 2018, 21 nations had produced localized versions of SASUKE, which continues to go from strength to strength all over the globe.

TBS Programs Reaching Every Corner of the World

For more than 50 years, TBS has been a trailblazing Japanese media company with its enterprising approach to international program sales. Tens of thousands of episodes from more than 1,000 TBS titles have been distributed to nations on five continents, and we have strengthened our ability to communicate with overseas markets by making content on our website available in 100 languages. TBS also provides the latest information on its content via its official Facebook page, which has over 1 million followers, and through JAPACON, a comprehensive portal for Japanese entertainment content.

Takeshi’s Castle Thailand

TBS began program format sales in the 1980s and has become a major player in this field. America’s Funniest Home Videos, the U.S. version of a segment from the TBS variety entertainment program Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan, has been shown on the ABC network for 29 years, making it the longest-running entertainment program in ABC’s history. The highly popular reality game show Takeshi’s Castle and its format have been aired in 159 nations and territories, and in recent years localized versions have been produced in Thailand and Indonesia.

We Are Rockets!
Revue Starlight ©PRS Café Funiculi Funicula
©2018 “Before The Coffee Gets Cold”
Film Partners

Content Sales
TBS’s dramas have been sold to overseas TV stations for many years and been especially popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong, where TBS serial dramas are broadcast almost immediately after being aired in Japan. A growing number of our dramas have been aired in Southeast Asian nations such as Thailand and Indonesia. TBS has sold drama remake (scripted format) rights to China and South Korea, and expects further growth in this genre.

We produce about 10 anime series and about five feature movies each year, committing significant resources to presales and streaming anime programs. Some TBS anime programs are streamed abroad at almost the same time as they are broadcast in Japan, which has helped combat piracy. We promote overseas sales of our films mainly in Asia, but we also set up booths at such European events as the annual Cannes Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.

Filming The Colors of Japan,
a co-production with Vietnam

In recent years, TBS has co-produced programs with other Asian broadcasters. We teamed up with Vietnam Television (VTV) to produce the documentary The Colors of Japan, and with Taiwan’s Formosa Television to make 3/11 Reconstruction project/Tour de TOHOKU 2018.

International Sports Beamed to Your Living Room


TBS a World Leader in Athletics Coverage
Since 1997, TBS has broadcast the biennial IAAF World Championships, one of the jewels in our lineup crown. Over the years, we have crafted strong relationships with athletes competing on the international stage and infuse our coverage with exclusive footage and interviews. TBS was host broadcaster at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka and presented this event to viewers around the world. Our superb video production technologies were honored with that year’s IOC Grand Prize for the world’s best sports images.

FIVB Volleyball World Championships and Olympic Qualification Tournament
TBS is trusted internationally to deliver outstanding volleyball coverage. We broadcast some of the world’s biggest volleyball tournaments, including the FIVB Volleyball World Championships held every four years to determine the best of the best, and the Olympic Qualification Tournament, the final gateway to the Games. We will provide full coverage of the Japan women’s matches at the 2018 World Championships, which will be held in Japan for the first time in eight years, as well as produce international video feeds of all 103 matches and send them around the world.

World Baseball Classic
TBS broadcast live games from all four editions of the World Baseball Classic – a tournament to decide the world’s best national team – in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2017. In 2015, we broadcast the inaugural WBSC Premier 12, an event involving 12 national teams, our live coverage focusing on the “Samurai Japan” national team. TBS is scheduled to broadcast the tournament again in 2019.

Golf’s Most Prestigious Tournament
Every year, TBS broadcasts some of golf’s majors, including the Masters Tournament. For many Japanese golf fans, TBS is synonymous with this prestigious tournament, which we have broadcast since 1976. We also provide unparalleled coverage of men’s and women’s golf tournaments in Japan.


Breathtaking Beauty of World Heritage Sites

Venice and its Lagoon, Italy
Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay
– Mukkawar Island Marine National Park, Sudan
Sangay National Park, Ecuador

The World Heritage is a TBS documentary series that presents the breathtaking beauty of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Aired in 30-minute weekly segments from 6 p.m. every Sunday, The World Heritage has showcased over 690 sites since its debut in 1996. In 2006, TBS received a letter of appreciation from UNESCO in recognition of the program’s contribution to raising awareness of these sites.

In 2017, TBS became the first broadcaster to film the Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park, two separate areas in Sudan that form a single natural heritage site. We have been the first Japanese TV station to film and broadcast footage of many other heritage sites as well, including the Sangay National Park in Ecuador. Each year, TBS makes four programs shot in 4K, spectacular segments that have taken viewers to places including “Venice and its Lagoon” in Italy and the “Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars” in France.

We are also developing The World Heritage-related features for internet-based media. Episodes of The World Heritage are available through the Paravi video streaming service that started in April 2018, and viewers can enjoy the sounds of some World Heritage sites featured in our programs on Amazon’s smart speakers.

360-Degree Theater “STAGE AROUND”


IHI Stage Around Tokyo has revolutionized the Japanese theater scene, providing audiences with the ultimate in live entertainment. Its revolving seating area for 1,300 people can turn to face each of several stages and large screens that surround the auditorium – modeled after the original venue in the Netherlands, this is only the second 360-degree theater in the entire world, and the very first in Asia. The inaugural production at Stage Around Tokyo was the action period-drama Seven Souls in the Skull Castle performed by the contemporary theater group Gekidan Shinkansen and produced by TBS. Its 15-month run was a massive hit attended by more than 500,000 people from all over Japan and even overseas.

The next production at this cutting-edge theater is Metal Macbeth, a heavy metal rendition of Shakespeare’s play. Again performed by the Shinkansen troupe and produced by TBS, Metal Macbeth runs from July to December 2018. The TBS Group considers its Stage Around operations to be an essential element of its business, and will promote this production as a company-wide project, including coverage on TV programs. We will showcase this groundbreaking form of live entertainment to Asia.

c2018 Shura Tenma Photo by Aki Tanaka

Launch of Video-on-Demand Service


In April 2018, TBS Holdings and five of Japan’s leading media groups – Nikkei Inc., TV Tokyo Holdings Corp., WOWOW Inc., Dentsu Inc., and Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc. – launched the Paravi pay video-on-demand service.

Japan’s domestic video-on-demand market is projected to expand from about ¥149.5 billion in 2015 to about ¥209.2 billion in 2021*. Domestic and foreign-affiliated media companies, IT firms, and other companies have entered this growth industry, and TBS has teamed up with other content-rich leading media companies to establish a joint platform for streaming services and meet the competition head on.

Paravi’s biggest strength is its comprehensive catalog of Japanese TV content – its lineup of drama series, for example, is one of the largest in the nation. In addition to providing original content, Paravi adds over 50 of the latest programs each week to its catch-up service and offers live streaming as well. Its diverse array of services, ranging from videos to radio content to written media, can be accessed on various devices.

Rather than be bound by previous frameworks for video streaming services, TBS will continue to develop new ways of viewing programs and strive to make them the norm.

*Nomura Research Institute