Taking the opportunity of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games that starts from the 9th of February, TV broadcasters in the Republic of Korea are striving to promote high definition terrestrial 4K television broadcasting. In South Korea, more than 90% of the entire households now subscribe to pay channels such as CATV, satellite television, and IPTV, and the terrestrial televisions’ share is keep declining in terms of advertising revenues, too, which has prompted terrestrial broadcasters to deploy 4K broadcasts to regain their power. In promoting terrestrial 4K broadcasts, they are faced with several challenges that include not only the expansion of areas to cover and the dissemination of TV sets and receivers but also issues regarding rebroadcasts on pay channels. Given the current situation that households directly receiving the terrestrial 4K broadcasting account only for 5%, rebroadcast on pay channels is indispensable for more people to enjoy the 4K high definition images of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. However, while terrestrial TV broadcasters are planning a drastic hike in rebroadcast fees to recover investment in the development and promotion of 4K, pay channels have expressed reservations about it, and now the terrestrial broadcasters are the one who is refusing the rebroadcasts. Meanwhile, some people attribute the declination of terrestrial TV stations to “political intervention” in these broadcasters, especially KBS and MBC. For KBS, seven out of eleven board members were nominated by the government or the ruling party, which allegedly makes it difficult to report news against the government wishes. MBC is faced with the same problem. So, the notion that “terrestrial TV stations are not reporting neutral news” is spreading among the public. South Korea has been leading the world in pursuing the practical use of 4K broadcasts and is trying to invigorate the industries dealing with terrestrial 4k broadcasts by keeping its position as the world leader in this field. Still, if terrestrial TV stations—the key players—cannot present a concrete business model, it may become difficult to see a bright future.
The media strategies of professional sports have been revolving around broadcasters, and TV broadcasts have been the main tool for professional sports associations to expand their business. However, the J.League, the professional football league in Japan, started taking a new approach from its 2017 season in tandem with an OTT player and telecom operators.This article focuses on the new media strategy of the J.League that decided to partner with telecom companies. The author delved into the background and the intention of these telecom operators and the J.League to clarify the whole picture of this trend as well as to highlight the potential changes in the operation of the J.League. Based on these investigations, the author examined how its media strategy involving telecom services would spread to other professional sports leagues and how it would impact broadcasters.Supported by the telecom companies’ abundant funds, business strategies, and technologies, the J.League is now capable of offering more captivating footage of matches for a wider spectrum of viewers, and the new media strategy is dramatically changing tactics, including operating smart stadiums. These movers indicate a huge potential for further business expansion. With some other professional sports leagues also launching media strategies in cooperation with telecom operators, concerns about possible repercussions for broadcasters are growing.
The Royal Charter—the constitutional basis for the continuance of the BBC, public service broadcaster of the United Kingdom—was renewed in January 2017. Each Charter review involves public discussion over how the BBC should be. Prior to the 2017 renewal, the UK government published a “Green Paper” consultation in July 2015 as a springboard for discussion, which invited opinions from the public regarding the following four themes: “Why the BBC? Mission, purpose and values,” “What the BBC does. Scale and scope,” “BBC funding,” and “BBC governance and regulation.” The results of the public consultation revealed that 69% of the respondents were favorable about the expansion of the BBC services and budget scale to fit in the digital age, and 60% thought there would be no need to change the licence fee system.Following these steps, the Charter renewal was completed. The notable change was about the BBC’s governance structure. The previous Charter established the BBC Trust as the governing body within the BBC, but the new Charter closed it, and the Office of Communications (Ofcom) became the first external, independent regulator of the BBC. At the outset, Ofcom issued “Operating Framework” that covers regulatory obligations of the BBC. And in October, it published “Operating Licence” that states specific regulatory conditions with quotas. The new system gives Ofcom strong authority over the BBC, such as assessing the BBC’s performance and having the right to make decisions about new services to launch. This article reviews the process of the Charter-renewal debate and summarizes the characteristics of the BBC’s new governance system.
The Rating Survey on Young Children’s TV Viewing has been annually conducted since 1996 (except for 2004) by mail survey method. As the survey’s response rates have been gradually declining, we are exploring effective methods to secure and increase the response rates. We have come up with a survey design that uses conventional random sampling from the Basic Resident Registers and postal delivery of survey request, along with the internet collection of responses, which is named “postal-request and web-collection method (hereinafter called ‘web method’).” In hope to improve the response rates with this method, we conducted an experimental web method survey twice, in 2016 and in 2017. We studied the response rates of two groups; one that received “preoffering” incentives and the other that received “promised” incentives. The group with “preoffering” incentives in this experimental survey showed higher response rate than in the conventional mail survey. It is also revealed that many people used smartphones to access the web method survey and that app users entered answers more frequently than non-app users. The sample composition of the web method survey was almost the same as that of the mail survey, but the result of the experimental survey observed a slight difference in demographics of parents that answered the survey. Regarding TV viewing behavior, some results, such as time slots that received high ratings, were almost the same as those in the mail survey, but average viewing hours are shorter in the web method survey.The experiment indicates that the web method survey can be effective in increasing response rates as well as acquiring more accurate data and measuring more specific TV viewing behavior by refining the method. With an eye on the transition to the web method survey, we continue to study the feasibility of the new method in order to grasp young children’s media use more accurately.
‘A History of “Women Broadcasters”’—a subseries of “Oral History of Broadcasting”—focuses on female professionals with skills unique to the world of broadcasting as well as women broadcasters who have been out of the spotlight in this industry to review the history of broadcasting from new perspectives based on their evidences. Part IV turns the spotlight on Yasuko Harada who was involved in the television industry for nearly 40 years as timekeeper (TK), whose duty is to manage time in a most cool and calm manner among the staff. Ms. Harada started working for Fuji TV as TK for a live broadcast program in 1970. Later she turned freelance and engaged in the production of more than 60 dramas as “drama TK” or “recorder.” Starting with TBS’s popular drama Jikan Desuyo [It’s time], in which she developed her skills under the guidance of stage director Teruhiko Kuze, Ms. Harada contributed to the production of a number of dramas as a freelancer, working with many different types of directors; she walked together with commercial stations in the age of popular dramas until 2007.Ms. Harada’s basic work philosophy was to “put on the air as planned” and “fit within a time frame.” However, in case of dramas, what she managed was not only time. Her story tells us that recording in detail various kinds of information regarding the drama and sharing them with director and other staff and casts are also important tasks of a recorder. She also learnt that, along with fighting with time, her responsibility also included acting as a go-between for the production members, a young director and a big-name actor or a new face actor and a legendary director, for example, to establish chemistry at the production site. Ms. Harada coolly regards the television as “just a transient thing that consumes people’s energy and reflects the times.” However, at the same time, she confesses that she loves TV production sites, where everyone stands on an equal footing. Her evidence also tells us her contribution to fostering young promising directors by passing on her experience to the next generation and giving a hand to them.
Broadcasts use a huge amount of music. In order to distribute the royalties to the right holders, broadcasters are obliged to report the music pieces they use to JASRAC or other copyright management societies. With the advent of the internet age and heightened awareness of rights, more accurate report of all the music used is being required. To achieve this, more broadcasters are introducing the audio fingerprinting technology that automatically detects the characteristics of music. Looking at the background to the introduction of the technology, we can see that there have been tenacious debates between the users (broadcasters) and right holders/copyright management societies on how to solve problems and how to establish new rules. “Protection of rights” and “the development of culture” are the purpose of the Copyright Act. This article discusses the challenges and prospects of balancing these two theses while developing broadcast content.
The World Bosai Forum/International Disaster Risk Conference was held in Sendai City from November 25th to 28th, 2017, where participants discussed challenges facing and measures for enhancing the risk reduction capabilities around the world. It was the inaugural forum, which was held as Japan’s commitment to taking the lead in pursuing the “Sendai Framework” that had been adopted in the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction hosted by Sendai in 2015. The forum is for people working on risk reduction in industry, academia, government, and civil society from home and abroad and aims to pass on the know-how of “BOSAI” (Japan’s DRR concept and practice) to the world. About 50 sessions were held, covering a wide range of topics. Among them, this report focuses on sessions regarding disaster information.