MIC Survey of Broadcaster Sentiment
Results from the regular MIC surveys of sentiment in the TV industry

Outlook for commercial broadcasters in Japan

MIC Survey of Broadcaster Sentiment

PUBLISHED: 18 Apr 2016

Every quarter Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) asks commercial broadcasters to evaluate their outlook for the next six months.

The chart shows the latest (6 Apr 2016) results from the MIC’s industry sentiment/outlook survey. It is based on responses from 49 commercial broadcasters who are asked for their outlook for the upcoming two quarters.

The index is created by subtracting negative responses from positive; so the yellow bar graph, illustrating how broadcasters see their sales numbers developing (売上高見通し), shows the difference between the number of companies who think ‘sales will increase’ and those who think ‘sales will decrease.’1 The red line is the index for a more general ‘industry’ outlook (業況見通し).

The latest figure for 2015-Q4 and 2016-Q1 were both negative, indicating that more companies were pessimistic about the immediate future than were optimistic. The MIC survey reports…


The primary concern for broadcasters, or at least the one that most affected their outlook, is the prospects for advertising spend. Overall, this is also the primary factor driving the outlook for the industry as a whole:


Getting better (less bad)?

The published MIC survey results go back just two years but looking back a bit further (as my chart does) seems to reveal a pattern (or perhaps this is just a result of the human tendency to search for patterns in a chaotic world!). It looks like the broadcast industry is a lot more pessimistic regarding potential sales in the first quarter of any particular year. According to the published methodology these estimates are made at the end of third quarter of the previous year.

However, the amount of pessimism seems to be decreasing; but I think it’s debatable as to whether less pessimism means more optimism, after all the survey asks companies how they see things changing and after a long period of things getting worse maybe there’s a tendency to assume that things just can’t get any worse. Or at least there may be a feeling that the rate of decline is beginning to bottom out.

If you want more data, quarterly surveys going back to 1996 can be found here.

Data for chart above

’12-2 ’12-3 ’12-4 ’13-1 ’13-2 ’13-3 ’13-4
Minpō Sales Outlook -22.2 -9.1 -9.5 -28.6 -4.5 7 -2.4
Industry Outlook -11.1 -22.7 -4.8 -9.5 -2.3 0 9.8
’14-1 ’14-2 ’14-3 ’14-4 ’15-1 ’15-2 ’15-3 ’15-4 ’16-1
Minpō Sales Outlook -26.8 7.5 12.5 -10.3 -23.1 8.7 0 -9.3 -11.6
Industry Outlook -12.2 15 -2.5 -15 -17.9 -4.3 0 -4.7 -7

  1. For those who follow the Japanese economy, this is a kind of tankan for broadcasting.

  2. One of these ‘▲’ is Japanese for ‘-’(minus).

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