Japan’s TV stations lose $20 billion, as TV prices soar
BILLINGS, N.Y. — Japan’s media industry suffered a blow Monday when the broadcaster NHK reported that it lost $20.6 billion in the first quarter of the year.
It was a big blow to a company that is already struggling with a shrinking number of TV stations.
The company lost 7,734 staff in the same quarter a year ago, according to NHK.
Its loss was larger than that of other Japanese media companies such as Nippon Television Network Corp., NTV Corp., and Asahi TV, NHK said.
In the quarter ended March 31, the company lost 2.8 billion yen ($21.2 million), including 3.9 billion yen for the first three months of this year, according the Nikkei newspaper.
“This is a really bad outcome for the Japanese media industry,” said Akira Hasegawa, an analyst at Tokyo-based Research & Strategy in Japan.
NHK is the country’s biggest broadcaster, and its ratings have become a major source of income for the company, whose flagship news program is the Kibaikan TV, which is broadcast on TV stations across Japan.
The broadcaster lost $11.5 billion in advertising revenue for the quarter, including about $2.2 billion from ads aired during prime time, the Nikki news agency reported.
That was more than double the $2 billion it lost the same period last year.
The company also lost about $1.7 billion in subscription revenue.
In addition to NHKA, the Tokyo-listed NHK is owned by Fuji Television Co., the broadcaster said.