Nippon TV is in danger of falling from the triple crown of viewership ratings due to the onslaught of other stations and the BPO issue. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Nippon TV is in danger of falling from the triple crown of viewership ratings due to the onslaught of other stations and the BPO issue.

The impact of the suspension of "Downtown no Gaki no Tsukasa ya Arahende! The shock of the suspension of the "Never Laugh Series

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It is said that the champion, NTV, is beginning to come apart.

Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV), which has achieved an unprecedented record of 10 consecutive “triple crown” annual individual viewership ratings, is now experiencing a major earthquake. It is said that several popular variety shows, which have been the backbone of the station, may be discontinued within a year due to their inability to defy the tide of the times.

The nightmare for Nippon TV began with the official statement issued by the BPO (Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization) Committee on Youth in August this year. After conducting questionnaires and interviews with monitors of junior high and high school students, the committee found that many of them were “offended” and “encouraged bullying” by programs that use painful acts on the performers as a laughingstock. In response, the BPO decided to scrutinize “variety shows that make painful things the object of laughter” and make them the subject of deliberation.

Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV) immediately responded to the BPO’s move, and along with NHK’s “Kouhaku Uta Gassen” (Red and White Song Contest), the year-end tradition of “Downtown no Gaki no Tsukasa ya Arahende! series, a year-end tradition along with NHK’s Kohaku Uta Gassen. At a regular press conference, Mikuni Sugiyama, president of the station, explained the reason for the suspension of the program as follows.

“The decision to suspend the program was made long ago, and has nothing to do with the BPO’s deliberations.

Of course, no one at Nippon TV took the president’s press conference at face value.

Even an elementary school student can understand that the BPO’s view of “variety shows that make painful things funny” implicitly refers to “Laugh It Off,” which sells punishing games such as ass-butt. It is impossible to recover.

Yoshimoto Kogyo, to which the main cast members Hitoshi Matsumoto (57) and Masatoshi Hamada (58) of Downtown, Shozo Endo (50) and Naoki Tanaka (50) of Kokoriko, and Katsutei Yoshimasa (53) belong, also overreact to compliance. Moreover, in the worst case scenario, the separation of sponsors will be accelerated. Nippon TV took the initiative a year ahead of time,” said an advertising agency executive.

In addition, the following story was leaked from a Nippon Television Network Corporation official.

The group company that releases the DVDs and Hulu, which distributes the show after it ends, makes a huge profit from “Laugh It Up” every year. We have already included “Laugh It Up” in our annual budget plan, and it has been officially approved by the board of directors. It would be a loss of about 100 million yen. The decision to suspend the program in advance is a sign of pride on the part of the NTV production team and their desire not to have their programming rights violated.

In fact, it is said that the problems surrounding the BPO are not limited to “Laugh It Up”. For NTV, it meant the beginning of a crisis.

“Variety shows are part of Nippon TV’s DNA. Compared to other stations, Nippon TV has the most programs in which comedians are teased and sublimated into laughter. The best example is NTV’s popular program, “ItteQ to the Ends of the World! This is exactly the kind of corner that the BPO considers problematic. QTube” by Soichi Rocchi and Nakaoka, and “ItteQ! Hot Springs Club” featuring Morisanchu, Asako Ito, Okazu Club, and others, are just a few examples of variety shows that make painful things funny.

Of course, these programs are good for comedians, and one could argue, “Although there is pain, it’s pop laughter! But how much is a problem and how much is not? However, it is difficult to draw a line between what is problematic and what is safe. But it is difficult to draw a line between what is problematic and what is safe. When that happens, the damage to Nippon TV will be huge.

Another example would be the hot and spicy corner of “Ariyoshi Zemi. In addition, the “Ariyoshi no Kabe” (Ariyoshi’s Wall), where the comedians put their bodies on the line, and the “Sekai Maru Mieru! TV Special Investigative Department, and the “Whoa! TV Special Investigative Department”, the usual teasing of comedians at the beginning of “Sekai Maru Mieru!

In addition to this, another problem that has been raised within Nippon TV is the rut of popular programs.

DASH,” which airs at 7 p.m. on Sundays. DASH! DASH!” which airs at 7 p.m. on Sundays, and “DASH Giant Restaurant,” a new project to cook giant creatures, are basically the same project. Also, “100 Million People’s Big Questions! Laugh and Koraete! which was a hit project, but due to the Covid-19 disaster, they were not able to go on location and the project has become disorganized.

In the midst of this situation, TV Asahi, which has been following the back of Nippon TV, has gained momentum.

The monthly individual viewership ratings for October 2021 (October 4 to October 31) were 3.9% (Nippon TV) and 3.8% (TV Asahi) in the all-day zone (6:00 to 24:00), and 6% (Nippon TV) and 5.8% (TV Asahi) in the golden zone (19:00 to 22:00), with Nippon TV taking the top spot as usual. However, it finally made a huge comeback in the prime time slot (19:00 – 23:00).

“In the prime time slot (19:00 – 23:00), however, a major upset was finally made, with TV Asahi coming out on top with 5.8%, only 0.1 points behind. This was due to the high viewership ratings of “Sidekick,” “Forensic Science Woman” and “Doctor X,” known as the “drama trifecta. Another factor is the high viewer ratings for “Figure Skating Grand Prix Series 2021.

In addition, the fact that the gap with Nippon TV is so small is giving momentum to the young production team at TV Asahi.

“It’s a difference of 0.1 to 0.2%. The difference is 0.1 to 0.2 percent, and with the lack of new young creators at Nippon TV, now is the perfect time to catch up with Nippon TV.

Apparently, the BPO issue is not the only reason for Nippon TV’s decline. How will the fierce battle for the top position in the television industry unfold?

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