Japan’s television broadcasters are stepping up efforts to capture new viewers in the Asian markets, where they see high-growth potential, by leveraging popular Japanese dramas and other shows. Tokyo Metropolitan Television Broadcasting, known as Tokyo MX, and China’s Dalian Television are jointly creating a programme featuring a close-up look at Chinese tourists in Japan. The show is called Where Are You Going Tomorrow? and begins by asking a group of Chinese tourists travelling in Japan what their plans are for the next day. The programme then closely follows them for 24 hours, introducing local specialities and shopping tips along the way. Since November 2015, the programme has regularly aired in China, and there are plans to make it available on some Japan-China flights which started in February 2016.

The Japanese broadcaster is enthusiastic about expanding the show’s markets. It is currently available on a China-based video streaming website, and there are plans to broaden to Indonesia and other countries. Tokyo MX marked the 20th anniversary of its foundation in 2015. In focusing on the future, the company aims to enhance its global presence and has launched an in-house section to handle overseas business. “The television market in Japan is becoming oversupplied,” said Nobuyoshi Shirota, general manager of the international relations division in the programming department. “We are betting our future on the potential of overseas markets.” The broadcaster aims to achieve overseas sales of 300 million yen to 500 million yen ($2.47 million to $4.12 million) for fiscal 2016, ending March 2017, mainly from sponsorship sales.

Jumping on the bandwagon Other TV companies are joining the action. Fuji Television Network recently signed a strategic partnership with Shanghai Media Group Pictures to provide the rights to remake for TV or adapt to film five of its dramas over the next three years. While struggling to continue attracting Japanese viewers at home, the broadcaster has found success in China. Two of its dramas, Tokyo Love Story and The 101st Proposal, which both aired in 1991 in Japan, are still highly popular in China. Fuji TV has sold the rights to its dramas to Chinese businesses in the past, but now is determined to take a step further and build a stable revenue base for medium- and long-term prospects. It plans to send programme producers to China and spend money to jointly produce dramas with its new partner.

Another company joining the competition is Wakuwaku Japan, a unit of leading Japanese satellite TV operator Sky Perfect JSAT. The broadcaster plans to expand coverage to 22 countries by 2020. Currently, it has channels in Indonesia, Myanmar and Singapore, which air Japanese dramas and J-League soccer matches. The company is looking to launch a themed channel on the platform of a leading cable TV operator in Singapore in an effort to increase viewership. Nippon TV’s Dragons’ Den (Shark Tank in the US) is currently available in 29 formats and airing in 184 countries across the globe, and the hit drama series The Last Cop beginning its second season, Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV), the leading commercial broadcaster and network in Japan offering entertainment, anime, documentaries and news, announced today that the company will be heading to MIPCOM 2016 with a new drama, Pretty Proofreader (10 x 60’), and two new formats Burning Questions! (60’ eps.) and The Character (60’ eps.).

The announcement was made today by Mr Atsushi Hatayama, recently appointed President of International Business Development for the company. “We are extremely proud to be the top-rated broadcast network in Japan for the past two consecutive years and this is thanks in part to our highly successful formats, Burning Questions! and The Character, currently airing on Nippon TV. MIPCOM is the perfect platform for us to showcase these titles to the international buyers around the world,” commented Mr. Hatayama.“In addition, we are confident our new drama series, Pretty Proofreader, will resonate well in all territories, as has as our incredibly successful Dragons’ Den which is a phenomenal hit worldwide. We have much to be proud of.” The first new format from Nippon TV is Burning Questions!, the ultimate true or false quiz show where there’s no shortage of intriguing, bizarre, and sometimes risque questions to pique your interest. It’s all about good fun and new discoveries for players and viewers alike in this one-hour studio game show where celebrity contestants battle it out to see who can rack up the highest number of points.