Japan’s TV high note

Top networks posted solid profits, revs in 1999

TOKYO — Despite an overall fall in ad expenditures brought about by Japan’s sputtering economy, the country’s three top commercial networks posted solid revenue and profit numbers for the 1999 fiscal year that ended March 31, 2000.

Leading web FV scored record revenue on a group basis in the fiscal year to hit income of 412.24 billion yen ($3.85 billion), which marked a 4.8% increase over the revenue number for the previous fiscal year.

Fuji TV extended its title as Japan’s revenue champion to 17 straight years with the results as it scored an operating profit gain of about 23% in the fiscal year to hit 36.98 billion yen ($346 million). Fuji is the only network of the three that is predicting an increase in net profit for the current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2001.

Nippon’s seesaw

Number two network in terms of revenue Nippon TV (NTV) posted a decrease in revenue on a group basis but still posted an increase of revenue on its parent basis.

Group numbers refer to all the operations of the broadcasting company and its affiliated companies while parent numbers are just for the operations of the broadcaster.

NTV’s parent revenue was up 3.2% for the fiscal year to hit 287 billion yen ($2.7 billion) while group revenue was down by less than 1% to total 328 billion yen ($3.07 billion). Profits were up on a group and parent basis with the group numbers up by over 10% to 54.35 billion yen ($508 million).

Number three web Tokyo Broadcasting posted a 2.4% rise in group revenue in the fiscal year to hit 260.68 billion yen ($2.44 billion) while operating profit increased by over 28% to hit 24.47 billion yen ($229 million).

The overall amount spent on advertising in Japan for the 1999 calendar year dropped by 1.2% but cutbacks at the networks and the affinity of advertisers to put precious and costly ad campaigns on network TV helped push up numbers for the three major webs in the fiscal year.

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