Will the Sun Rise? Japan’s Limited Role in the Global Format Business
VIEW Journal Issue . 9 p. 48- 59
This article illustrates the TV format business in Japan, which has a 60-year history of TV broadcasting and is the second biggest market in the world; however, it is still a small player in the business. The article examines the elements which prevent the international sale of more TV formats and suggests possible solutions. To meet the objectives, this study presents the following research: 1) a questionnaire to ask TV content buyers about the problems and strong points of Japanese TV formats, 2) semi-structured interviews with Japanese TV format sellers via email, 3) semi-structured interviews with TV format experts, and 4) archival research. As a result, this study found that the elements that prevent Japan from developing the TV format business include their unique presentation style in light entertainment shows, called ‘variety show style’, an inability to adjust this structure to the international market, and traditional Japanese-styled business practices. As possible solutions, this article suggests 1) introducing flying producers, 2) changing the business structure, 3) buying foreign TV formats, and 4) taking risks.