TV TOKYO’S BUSINESS AREAS
TV TOKYO’s rights management business encompasses television program-related rights management—particularly focusing on the anime genre—as well as investment in movie production and distribution. In addition, we are involved in a range of cultural businesses, including music recording, musical stage productions and art exhibitions as well as
sponsorship of sporting events.
Rights management is one of TV TOKYO’s two core businesses, along with its broadcasting operations. The multi-use of programming content is a key strategy for TV TOKYO. By developing a strong lineup of program content and related franchises, we aim to create synergy between our broadcasting and rights management businesses. An anime project provides an opportunity to develop a very broad-based rights management business that also may have an extremely long life span. Beginning with an initial broadcast run on network television, the anime series may then be licensed to local television stations, satellite channels and Internet-based companies. The anime franchise may then be expanded to include such businesses as video sales, video game software, movie productions and character merchandising. For the NARUTO series, which was first broadcast in 2002, TV TOKYO is the lead franchise partner, managing all related rights worldwide. In the rights management business as a whole, TV TOKYO is pursuing this type of leadership role. We have already launched the YU-GI-OH Duel Monsters franchise, a major hit following in the footsteps
of Pokémon, in a number of overseas markets, utilizing the significant know-how we have built up to propel us to the next level.
In the area of movie production and distribution, we have targeted the summer vacation period each year for movie theater releases of the Pokémon series (starting in 1998) and the winter vacation period for releases of the Hamtaro series (starting in 2001). These movies have successfully gained high spots in the box office rankings each year. Other film projects in which we have jointly par- ticipated recently include Ame Agaru (After the Rain) (2000) and Go (2001), both of which won several Japanese Academy Awards. We have also participated in two Takeshi Kitano-directed projects—Hana-Bi (Fireworks) (1997), which won the Golden Lion (grand prix) prize at the Venice Film Festival, and Dolls (2002). Among the foreign films we have distributed in Japan were Billy Elliot (2001), which won a Japanese Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture, and Amelie (2001), which was one of the highest grossing French movies in Japanese box office history. In 2003, The Hours and Taxi 3 have also been box office hits.
In the events category, each year we organize a concert tour and a musical stage production featuring Japanese pop phenomenon Morning Musume, who started out from an audition on a TV TOKYO program. We also invite to Japan such world-renowned opera companies as the Metropolitan Opera (2001) and the Washington Opera (2002). Every year we promote a variety of cultural and sporting events, which have recently included ancient Egypt (2002) and Tanyu Kano (2002) exhibitions.