Investing in the Future
TBS supports companies and projects dedicated to reshaping the future. We make full use of our expertise to support the growth of these operations and jointly develop these businesses.
- TYFFON develops VR/AR attractions
- TBS Radio Toda Transmission Station
uses 100% renewable energy
- Street Academy, a skill teaching/learning marketplace
Reinforcing International Business Operations
produce drama seriesLeft: Takashi Sasaki, President, TBS Holdings, Inc.
Right: Alon Shtruzman, CEO, Keshet International
In a move designed to more effectively find and secure business opportunities overseas, TBS Television launched two new departments within its Media Business Division in January 2019, to create the TBS International Business Center, a 3-pronged strategic organization.
As a “blue-chip format development” company with 50-plus years of experience in international program sales, TBS’s International Distribution Department will work closely with the newly created International Business Development Department – tasked with the development of new business opportunities utilizing the resources of TBS and its affiliates such as PLACEHOLDER, INC. and TYFFON Inc. - and the International Strategy Department, which will be in charge of formulating strategies by gathering the latest information on media and content trends worldwide, as well as forging close ties with overseas broadcasters.
Soon after it was launched, the International Business Development Department successfully concluded an agreement with Keshet International, a major Israeli media company, to jointly develop and produce a drama series. The project was quickly set into motion, and is currently underway.
TBS Formats Enveloping the World
American Ninja Warrior
For more information
- TBS program online catalog
- Official Facebook page
Known as Ninja Warrior in the U.S. and many other countries, TBS’s original sports entertainment program SASUKE has become a global household name. Launched domestically in 1997, the program has been distributed widely to viewers in 165 nations and territories, and its format has been customized into local versions by broadcasters around the world.
Of the countries producing localized versions of SASUKE, the U.S. leads the way with 11 seasons. The U.K. and Vietnam both have produced 5 seasons. With Israel, Romania, and Switzerland launching their own versions of Ninja Warrior in 2018, the total number has reached 23 and counting! American Ninja Warrior Junior, a spin-off program featuring youths taking on a challenging obstacle course, is in its second season in the U.S.
To further expand SASUKE/Ninja Warrior-related business opportunities through branding of its intellectual property, TBS is actively registering, managing, and protecting the trademark internationally. This has allowed for successful merchandising, tie-ups, publications, and various forms of innovative branded commercialization.
Some notable examples are theme parks where visitors can tackle obstacles modeled on the Ninja Warrior course. Three have been launched in the U.K. in collaboration with ITV, the broadcaster of Ninja Warrior UK, and four similar facilities opened in Israel in the summer of 2019. In the U.S., NBCUniversal released American Ninja Warrior Challenge, a video game available for the U.S. on major game consoles PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
TBS’s track record in format sales goes back several decades and has always been an integral part of its international business operations. The first major success was the home video contest from its entertainment variety show Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan which became an international sensation as America’s Funniest Home Videos. The format has continued its successful run in the U.S. with its 29th season airing in 2019.
The Takeshi’s Castle format is stronger than ever, with the Thai localized version reaching 6 seasons, and Indonesia’s version up to season 3. In an interesting evolution, a reformatted international version of the Thai and Indonesian versions dubbed in English was produced and is being distributed by Comedy Central UK, a British company under the umbrella of media giant Viacom Inc. And in 2019, a localized version of Takeshi’s Castle was recorded in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, demonstrating once again the tremendous longevity of this format, and the strength of TBS’s international business operations.
Through a strengthening of cooperative ties with key international partners, TBS’s goal is to deliver original content to a wider, global audience, and to expand new business opportunities abroad. The new International Business Center welcomes new ideas, proposals, and challenges from all over the world!
International Sports Beamed to Your Living Room
TBS Delivers Award-Winning Athletics Coverage
Since 1997, TBS has broadcast the biennial IAAF World Championships, one of the jewels in our lineup crown. Over the years, we have crafted strong relationships with the athletes competing on the international stage and infuse our coverage with exclusive footage and interviews. TBS was host broadcaster at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka and presented this event to viewers around the world. Our superb video production technologies were honored with that year’s IOC Grand Prize for the world’s best sports images.
FIVB Volleyball World Championships and Olympic Qualification Tournament
TBS is trusted internationally to deliver outstanding volleyball coverage. We broadcast some of the world’s biggest volleyball tournaments, including the FIVB Volleyball World Championships held every four years to determine the best of the best, and the Olympic Qualification Tournament, the final gateway to the Games. We provided full coverage of the Japan women’s matches at the 2018 World Championships, which were held in Japan for the first time in eight years. TBS also produced international video feeds of all 103 matches and sent them around the globe.
World Baseball Classic
TBS broadcast live games from all four editions of the World Baseball Classic – a tournament to decide the world’s best national team – in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2017. In 2015, we broadcast the inaugural WBSC Premier 12, an event involving teams representing 12 nations and territories. Our live coverage focused mainly on games featuring the “Samurai Japan” national team. TBS is scheduled to broadcast the tournament again in 2019.
Golf’s Most Prestigious Tournament
Every year, TBS broadcasts some of golf’s majors, including the Masters Tournament. For many Japanese golf fans, TBS is synonymous with this prestigious tournament, which we have broadcast since 1976. We also provide unparalleled coverage of men’s and women’s golf tournaments in Japan.
TBS World Heritage
The World Heritage is a TBS documentary series that presents the breathtaking beauty of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Aired in 30-minute weekly segments from 6 p.m. every Sunday, The World Heritage has showcased over 690 sites since it was launched in 1996. In 2006, TBS received a letter of appreciation from UNESCO in recognition of the program’s contribution to raising awareness of these locations, and in 2019, The World Heritage became the first TV program to win the Association of Japanese Geographers’ award for social contributions, a prize that acknowledges efforts to spread knowledge about geography.
TBS has been a trailblazer in the filming of World Heritage sites. In 2018, we were the first Japanese broadcaster to film Côte d’Ivoire’s Taï National Park, a natural heritage site where our crew took rare footage of chimpanzees using tools. In 2019, TBS became the first Japanese broadcaster to film and broadcast footage of the mixed cultural and natural heritage site of Colombia’s Chiribiquete National Park.
Each year, TBS produces four programs in 4K. These have included “Pyrénées – Mont Perdu” spanning the Spain-France border, “Kaziranga National Park” in India, and “Rock Islands Southern Lagoon” in Palau.
Chiribiquete National Park, Colombia
360-Degree Theater “STAGE AROUND”
WEST SIDE STORY Photo: Jun Wajda
BOUM ! BOUM ! BOUM !
Shingo Katori NIPPON First Exhibition
IHI Stage Around Tokyo has revolutionized the Japanese theater scene, providing audiences with the ultimate in live entertainment. Its rotating seating area for 1,300 people can turn to face each of the several stages and large screens that surround the auditorium. Modeled after the original venue in Amsterdam, this theater is the second such facility in the world and the first in Asia.
The inaugural production at Stage Around Tokyo was the action period-drama Seven Souls in the Skull Castle performed by the contemporary theater group Gekidan Shinkansen. Its 15-month run, which began in March 2017, was a huge hit. The next production, which ran until the end of 2018, was Metal Macbeth, a heavy metal rendition of Shakespeare’s play. More than 700,000 people from across Japan, and even from overseas, came to watch the production. This theatrical experience like no other keeps audience members coming back for more.
From March 2019, IHI Stage Around Tokyo was the venue for SUNTORY ALL FREE presents Boum! Boum! Boum!, the first solo art exhibition in Japan by Shingo Katori. Holding a unique style of exhibition at the theater created a huge buzz.
An original version of the classic musical West Side Story specially adapted for Stage Around Tokyo started in the summer of 2019, and the world premiere of Super Kabuki II Yamato Takeru – a kabuki performance that combines traditional movement with modern theater technology – will hit the stage in tandem with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. This spectacular production is certain to thrill people from around the globe.
The TBS Group considers its Stage Around operations to be an essential element of its business, and will promote productions at the theater as a company-wide project, including coverage on TV programs. We will showcase this groundbreaking form of live entertainment to the world.
VOD Available, Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Device
In April 2018, TBS Holdings and five of Japan’s leading media groups – Nikkei Inc., TV Tokyo Holdings Corp., WOWOW Inc., Dentsu Inc., and Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc. – launched Paravi, a subscription and transactional video-on-demand service.
Japan’s domestic video-on-demand market is projected to expand from about ¥149.5 billion in 2015 to about ¥209.2 billion in 2021.* Domestic and foreign-affiliated media companies, IT firms, and other companies have entered this growth industry, and TBS has joined forces with other content-rich leading media companies to establish a joint platform for streaming services and meet the competition head-on.
Paravi’s greatest strength is its comprehensive catalog of Japanese TV content – its lineup of drama series, for example, is one of the largest in Japan. All Paravi content, including original content that ranges from drama spin-offs to live streaming of sports and other programs, can be accessed on various devices.
TBS will continue to provide an extensive selection of videos on-demand through Paravi and enhance this platform on which users can watch top-quality TV content when and where they want.
*Nomura Research Institute
In the summer of 2018, the TBS Group launched TBS eSports Laboratory, an in-house entity that will draw on the Group’s content and expertise to generate new business in the eSports market. TBS eSports Laboratory is actively developing and boosting the popularity of eSports in Japan through programs, online streaming, events, and other means.