Treasure Box Japan screening, hosted by Ted Baracos (extreme right), Director of Market Development at Reed MIDEM

Treasure Box Japan was initiated at MIPCOM 2012 when seven Japanese broadcasters, namely Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV), TV Asahi Corporation (TV Asahi), Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc (TBS), TV Tokyo Corporation (TV Tokyo), Fuji Television Network Inc. (Fuji TV) and Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), joined forces to promote Japanese content collectively, notably Japanese formats. Japanese formats have already been well established internationally; memorable past hits such as Iron Chef (Food Network), Dragon’s Den (on BBC in the UK and ABC Australia), Ninja Warrior (Singapore’s MediaCorp), America’s Funniest Home Video (ABC in the U.S.), and most recently Hole in the Wall (FOX and CCTV) testifying to the worldwide appeal of the country’s entertainment formats.

AT MIPTV 2013, the second installment of “Treasure Box” featured an eighth broadcaster – Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (YTV).

Toshikazu Sugae (pictured right), Vice President at Yomiuri-TV Enterprise (YTE) representing YTV, tells TV ASIA Plus that the broadcaster had previously exhibited at MIP, with limited results. Sugae shares that unlike China and Korea who have well-established country pavilions, Japanese broadcasters had never come together till the previous MIP that is MIPCOM 2012. Up till then, governmental support was limited, but with “Treasure Box”, the Japanese government now sponsor up to 50% of marketing expenses required to promote this initiative.

At MIPFormats’ Treasure Box Japan screening on Sunday April 7, each broadcaster took all but 5 minutes to present one hit format out of the catalogue in front of a packed capacity crowd at Audi A at the Palais. Some highlights include NTV’s A-Ha! Experience, a spot-the-difference game show that the broadcaster says is “not about what you know but what you see”; TBS’ Athletic Fire, a competition format that sees celebrities of ‘regrettably’ all fitness levels pit themselves against professional athletics, with hilarious results; and TV Tokyo’s What’s Daddy, a reality series a crew follows a child who goes to the far reaches of the globe to surprise his/her dad – to dramatic results.

While not every participating broadcaster had a booth at MIPTV, a post-screening networking lunch (buyers access only) provided many interested parties opportunities to speak to sales reps up close.