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Nippon TV creates new arm to work with global partners, reshuffles top execs

Japanese broadcaster Nippon TV has appointed a new president and established a content strategy division to co-develop and coproduce “large-scale” projects with international streamers, broadcasters and producers.

Akira Ishizawa

Former senior executive operating officer Akira Ishizawa has been promoted to president and CEO, replacing Yoshikuni Sugiyama, who has spent a year in the role and will become chairman. Ishizawa’s promotion is effective immediately.

Meanwhile, Mikiko Nishiyama, currently MD of international business development, has been promoted to executive VP of international business development and will oversee the international unit of the fledgling content strategy division.

The division follows the work Nippon TV has done to get its scripted and non-scripted formats remade around the world and its goal is “to build new strategic creative collaborations with international partners to create original content for viewers worldwide,” the broadcaster said.

Additionally, parent company Nippon TV Holdings, where Ishizawa will also be president and CEO, will maintain an investment budget of ¥100bn (US$7m) “to strengthen and expand its media content business” as well as “businesses that contribute to society, to enter new areas with the aim of achieving sustained growth in corporate value.”

Nippon TV fully owns more than 90% of its content IP and the company has been active in bringing its content to the international market in the form of anime, ready-made programmes, formats and through coproduction partnerships.

This includes the original format on which UK and US TV hits Dragons’ Den/Shark Tank were based, while its hit drama series Mother has also achieved global success as the most exported scripted format out of Asia, with remakes in South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, France, Thailand, China, Indonesia and Spain.

Old Enough!, its quirky show in which toddlers complete daily tasks, is now streaming on Netflix in more than 190 countries, is also set to be remade in the US and other markets, C21 revealed last month.

Ishizawa said: “At Nippon TV, we aim to become a company that is at the forefront of inspiration and reliability with an expansion strategy centered on strong content and formats, taking on challenges in new business areas.

“As the newly appointed president, it is my goal to strengthen the overall vision of the company to produce and deliver content for global viewers. With this goal in mind, we have established a new content strategy division within the company that specialises in co-creating content with global partners. We look forward to bringing the extremely unique ideas that this new division will create.”


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