No. 35: Asahi National Broadcasting Co.

Tokyo

Revenue: $2.029 billion

Profit: $90 million

In October, Asahi National Broadcasting Co. (TV Asahi) was the last of the big private networks to go public. With high cash reserves from the public flotation and healthy advertising sales, it launched a series of shows to expand the TV Asahi repertoire.

Still most famous for its daily 10 o’clock news program, “News Station,” the network is trying to compete with its bigger rivals in the drama and entertainment programming areas. Its strength in news reporting, however, came in handy earlier this year with the enormous popularity of Japan’s new prime minister and the parliamentary elections.

For the immediate future, improving asset efficiency is an urgent task, coupled with new programming initiatives to keep viewer ratings.

Like all its competitors, TV Asahi is heavily investing into digital satellite broadcasting, and joined Fuji TV and Tokyo Broadcasting System in the establishment of a joint company that will provide TV programs via broadband Internet connections.

Company also is preparing to move into new headquarters by 2003 within a giant business, residential and commercial complex under construction near its present main offices.

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