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The Power of TBS Content

Ratings on the Rise

TBS is steadily boosting its program lineup to give it a competitive edge in the ratings battle, and the results have been encouraging. In the first quarter of 2017 (between April 3 and July 2, 2017), TBS ranked third in the full-day segment (6 a.m. to midnight) , third in golden time(7 p.m. to 10 p.m.), and second in prime time (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.). This was the first time TBS had come in second in prime time since the broadcast season starting in July 2007, and our third place ranking for the full-day segment was our first since the season starting in January 2013. We remain committed to developing attractive program content that will keep viewers tuning in.

TBS’s Audience Rating Ranking (out of five commercial broadcasters)

The Full-Time Wife Escapist - a Smash Hit


Our comedy-drama series The Full-Time Wife Escapist, which aired in autumn 2016, didn’t just see high audience ratings, it became a social phenomenon. Episodes of the program were accessed more than 20 million times on our catch-up streaming service, and a video of the program’s ending song “Koi dance,” featuring choreography performed by the cast members, was played more than 90 million times on YouTube. Blu-ray disc sales were the highest for any Japanese drama series to date. The Full-Time Wife Escapist explored diverse social values and ways to live one’s life - themes that resonated with many generations of viewers, especially younger ones. The series offered new ways to enjoy watching dramas, such as airing keywords that went viral on social media during broadcasts.

Ninja Warrior Continues to Storm the World

ANW 2016 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Ninja Warrior France
ANW collaborates with major brands
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Known worldwide as Ninja Warrior, the sports entertainment TV series and format SASUKE has become one of the biggest global hits for Japanese TV content. Viewers in 165 nations and territories have cheered on competitors as they race against the clock to conquer a challenging obstacle course. In recent years, Ninja Warrior has become increasingly recognized around the world as a growing number of TV stations not only broadcast the show but also purchase the format rights from TBS and produce localized versions of the program.
Overseas versions of SASUKE often refer to the course as “Mt. Midoriyama,” a nod to TBS’s Midoriyama studio where the show is filmed. Many competitors and fans of the show even consider Mt. Midoriyama to be a sacred place.
SASUKE has become especially popular in the United States. The locally produced American Ninja Warrior was launched in 2009 and moved to a prime-time slot on the NBC terrestrial television network in 2011. In 2014, American Ninja Warrior achieved the highest ratings for its time slot for 14 consecutive weeks, making it one of the biggest hit series of that summer. It has brought in more than 100 million viewers over every season since.
The program’s popularity continues to grow each year, and the ninth season, which aired in 2017, featured collaborations with several movies, including Minions and The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. American Ninja Warrior was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program in 2016 and 2017.
SASUKE also is expanding its footprint in Asia. The first version of SASUKE to be produced in another Asian country was SASUKE MALAYSIA, launched in 2011 with support from that nation’s government. This has been followed by SASUKE SINGAPORE in 2012, SASUKE VIETNAM and SASUKE CHINA in 2015, and SASUKE NINJA WARRIOR INDONESIA in 2016.
Outside Asia, Ninja Warrior Sweden broke new ground in 2013 and a string of local versions were rolled out in Europe thereafter, including Ninja Warrior Turkey, Ninja Warrior UK, and Ninja Warrior Denmark. They were followed in 2016 by Ninja Warrior France, Ninja Warrior Germany, and Ninja Warrior Italy.
Ninja Warrior Netherlands and Ninja Warrior Spain both started in 2017, and an Austrian version and a Hungarian version also have been produced. All total, 19 local versions of SASUKE had been produced as of July 2017, including Arabian Ninja Warrior and the ratings juggernaut Australian Ninja Warrior. SASUKE is going 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 pioneering 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 countries and territories around the world. TBS has also strengthened its ability to communicate with overseas markets - in addition to its official website, currently available in 80 different languages, TBS provides the latest information on its content via its official Facebook page, which has over 1 million followers, and through JAPACON, the only comprehensive portal for Japanese entertainment content.

Takeshi’s Castle Thailand

SASUKE/Ninja Warrior is one of TBS’s many global hits. TBS began program format sales in the 1980s in cooperation with U.S. agent Bellon Entertainment, and has since been 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 28 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 countries and territories, and in recent years localized versions have been produced in Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

©Yuu Kamiya, Tsubaki Himana,
Production Committee

TBS is an active player in the domestic and international anime markets, producing about 10 anime series each year. Since 2010, TBS has committed significant resources to presales and streaming anime programs. All its recent anime titles are streamed abroad immediately after broadcast in Japan. This has also been effective in combatting piracy.

The Full-Time Wife Escapist

TBS’s dramas have been popular overseas for many years. Most of its serial dramas are broadcast in Taiwan and Hong Kong immediately after being aired in Japan. In recent years, an increasing number of TBS dramas have been broadcast 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.

Let's Go, JETS!
From Small Town Girls to U.S. Champions?!
©2017 Let's Go JETS! Film Partners

TBS produces about five feature films annually and actively promotes its sales overseas at events including the Cannes Film Festival (Marché du Film) and the Hong Kong Filmart, where TBS has a booth every year.

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

In recent years, TBS has co-produced programs with other Asian broadcasters, including TV stations from Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand. TBS teamed up with Vietnam Television (VTV) to produce a drama remake of Song of the Sun and the documentary The Colors of Japan. With Taiwan’s Formosa Television, we produced 3/11 Reconstruction project/Tour de TOHOKU 2017 and Appreciation Trip to Miyagi –Thank the Support from Taiwan for the Aftermath of 3/11. In Thailand, TBS is co-producing DokiDoki CHALLENGE!, a travel program series for children that encourages them to go on family trips to Japan.

International Sporting Events in Your Living Room


TBS Delivers Unparalleled Coverage of Athletics
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 the 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 about 800 of our staffers were involved in presenting the event to viewers around the world. Their sterling efforts earned TBS the IOC Grand Prize for the world’s best sports images.

Our superb video production technologies came to the fore again during the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. With only a slight time difference between Japan and China, TBS broadcast exhilarating contests between the world’s finest athletes live in golden time (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) for nine consecutive evenings as athletics fever swept Japan. We also provided extensive coverage of the 2017 World Championships in London.

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 U.S. tournament, which we have broadcast since 1976. Our ability to cover men’s and women’s golf tournaments in Japan also is without peer.


FIVB Volleyball World Championships and Olympic Qualification Tournament
TBS broadcasts 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. As host broadcaster of the 2010 World Championships, TBS produced and sent video feeds of all 108 matches around the world. Our coverage, including matches played by the Japan national women’s team as it clinched a bronze medal, helped spark a surge in interest in volleyball. We will provide coverage of the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 2018 World Championships.


World Baseball Classic
TBS broadcast live games from all four editions of the World Baseball Classic - a tournament to decide the world’s best 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 included games featuring the “Samurai Japan” national team.


Photo by Aki Tanaka

IHI STAGE AROUND TOKYO has revolutionized the Japanese theater scene and become the envy of theater operators around the world. TBS fended off bids from many different countries to acquire the exclusive right to construct and operate the first 360-degree theater in Asia and the second in the world. The theater opened on March 30, 2017 in the waterfront Toyosu district, which will be the new home of the world-famous Tsukiji Market, as well as the Athletes’ Village and several sports facilities to be built for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

With a capacity of about 1,300 people, the theater’s seats are located on a circular, rotating platform that can turn to each of the several stages and large screens that surround the auditorium. This dynamic space provides audiences with the ultimate in live entertainment.

The inaugural production at the theater was the action period drama Seven Souls in the Skull Castle. It was produced by TBS, Imagine Nation, and the John Gore Organization. The production has been a massive hit - all 15 months of its scheduled run sold out immediately after 1st, 2nd, and 3rd season tickets went on sale. TBS will showcase groundbreaking forms of live entertainment at this cutting-edge theater through 2020.

From Tokyo to Asia

Robin de Levita, CCO of Imagine Nation, and Shinji Takeda, President of TBS

TBS has formed a partnership with Dutch rights-holder Imagine Nation to develop the IHI Stage Around theater system in Asia. We will work with our business partners in Asia to construct and operate Stage Around theaters in locations around the continent.

Eyes on the Future

Aiming for the Moon


In May 2017, TBS became a strategic media partner of ispace, inc., a venture company managing the operations of Team HAKUTO, Japan’s sole participant in the Google Lunar XPRIZE - the only international competition aiming to place a privately funded robot on the moon’s surface. In July, we assembled a “Space Project Team” drawn from various corners of the TBS Group that is tasked with producing programs and events to heighten interest in the activities of HAKUTO and ispace. TBS is proud to provide wide-ranging support for space development projects conducted by the private sector, a market expected to grow around the world. HAKUTO’s lunar rover SORATO will be launched on a rocket from India at the end of 2017, and is scheduled to land on the moon - and start exploring the surface - in early 2018.

Video on Demand

Founding members of PPJ

In July, 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. - jointly established Premium Platform Japan, Inc. (PPJ), a company whose main business centers on pay video on demand services. According to the Nomura Research Institute, Japan’s domestic video on demand market is projected to grow from about ¥149.5 billion in 2015 to about ¥209.2 billion in 2021. Private companies in fields ranging from media to information technology are already entering this growth industry. Amid this changing scene, PPJ provides a new platform for streaming services and, by using various Internet Protocol infrastructures, can give viewers new types of services beyond what previous video streaming services could offer.

Breathtaking Beauty of World Heritage Sites

imageThe 1000th broadcast featured the Sangay Volcano (filmed by a Japanese broadcaster for the first time)
20th anniversary special: Journey down the Nile River
20th anniversary special: Rome - Capital of the Giant Empire
4K filming of Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall

TBS’s The World Heritage is a documentary series featuring UNECSO World Heritage sites celebrating the natural world and cultural treasures created by humankind. Aired in 30-minute weekly slots, The World Heritage has showcased over 670 sites since the series started in April 1996. This program combines the highest levels of visual quality with compelling narration and beautiful music to convey the magnificence of these natural and man-made sites.

On April 2, 2017, the show aired for the 1,000th time. To commemorate this milestone, we explored Sangay National Park in Ecuador in a special two-part episode broadcast over two weeks. TBS was the first Japanese broadcaster to film this incredible national park, including rare footage from the towering summit of Sangay, an active volcano. To mark the series’ 20th anniversary in 2016, TBS broadcast two such special episodes that each aired over two weeks and were highly acclaimed - one took viewers on a journey down the Nile River; the other to Rome, capital of the Roman Empire.

In April 2015, we started broadcasting episodes of The World Heritage 4K Premium Edition on our terrestrial channel. The footage, which is filmed and edited entirely in 4K, is aired after being down-converted to high-definition, but still offers images superior to regular HD thanks to the huge amount of visual data contained in the original. In June 2016, an episode on Canaima National Park in Venezuela featured spectacular 4K footage from above Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall. Three other special 4K programs took viewers to the streets of Quito, Ecuador; a volcano on the French island of Reunion; and the Jungfrau-Aletsch region of the Swiss Alps.