No. 29: Tokyo Broadcasting System


Revenue: $2.609 billion

Profit: $172 million

Tokyo Broadcasting System trails its two main rivals, Fuji TV and NTV, in revenues but the gap is narrowing thanks to a series of programming successes.

Special shows, such as the “Zero Landmine” campaign launched in honor of TBS’ 50th anniversary this year, have helped enhance the popularity of the network.

Higher ratings and advertising sales coupled with cost-cutting measures resulted in a 34% boost in profits for the last financial year, which ended on March 31.

TBS reorganized its managerial structure in April last year by spinning off four divisions, creating TBS Entertainment, TBS Sports, TBS News & Live and TBS Radio & Communications. These arms compete with each other, which has fostered improved profit and loss management.

“Over a year later we can say that this was the right step to prepare for a diversified future,” says TBS prexy Yukio Sunahara.

TBS leads its competitors on the new BS digital satellite platform, which launched in December. BS-I, the TBS-affiliated company, won audiences with interactive programs and raked in some 2.34 billion yen ($21 million) in sales through March.

Still, investments in digital programming and other new ventures, such as a joint broadband delivery company with competitors Fuji TV and TV Asahi, drain coffers.

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