Japan TV body sees dive in 2008 revenue

With ads declining, a 5% drop-off is expected

BANGKOK -- Japan's terrestrial TV stations are likely to report a 5% drop in fiscal 2008 operating revenue -- their sharpest-ever fall -- thanks to less advertising amid the economic slowdown, according to a report from the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters.

The predicted 2.2 billion yen ($24.8 million) drop in operating revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31 was first reported Wednesday by the Kyodo news agency.

Industry body NACB said it believes that stations in the main metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya will record an average 5.5% drop in operating revenue. The expected decline in operating revenue at TV stations elsewhere is 3.9%, Kyodo said.

Looking ahead, the NACB forecast that revenue at member stations will drop 6.2% to about 2.1 billion yen ($23.3 million) in fiscal 2009, which begins April 1.

Revenue at TV stations in the three major metropolitan areas is projected to drop 6.7% for the 12-month period, while those in other areas will fall 5.1%, the report said.

The association surveyed a total of 124 member terrestrial television stations in making the projections.