Advertising Revenues Up at Japan's Big Five Networks

Fuji TV tops the ratings for the seventh straight year.

TOKYO – Strengthening advertising revenues pushed profits up at most of Japan’s five major TV networks for the nine months to December, with Fuji TV king of the ratings hill for the seventh straight year.

Fuji’s net profits were up more than 100 percent to 13.5 billion yen ($164 million) as it swept the ratings board of every time slot with its best-ever audience figures.

Nippon Television (NTV) was again the second most-watched channel, and was the most profitable for the period, with net profits up more than a third to 16.7 billion yen.

TV Asahi saw profits jump 44 percent to 6.4 billion yen, while TV Tokyo, the smallest of the major networks, announced profits of 3.1 billion yen. 

Tokyo Broadcasting System continued to struggle, with ratings dropping, and profits falling 13.2 percent to 1.7 billion yen.  

Television advertising has seen a major shift over the last year or so with traditional corporate giants such as Toyota and Sony replaced as the biggest spenders by mobile social gaming sites GREE and Mobage Town.  

GREE recently announced record quarterly revenues of 14.32 billion yen, while DeNA – owner of Mobage Town – posted quarterly sales up 153 percent to 29.5 billion yen. Sales for both companies, which have more than 20 million users each, come almost entirely from players buying virtual items in mobile phone-based social games.