Japan’s broadcasters have been refusing to advertise Panasonic Corp.’s new TV sets because the new product line, Panasonic’s Smart Viera series, displays websites and online video clips at the same time as TV programs.
The TV networks are demanding Panasonic change the way the online information is shown on the TV.
Do you think Panasonic will listen?
People want more online content in their living rooms and companies are doing all they can to control the space. Microsoft has been trying to do it for over a decade with their media center and now the newest version of x-box, which tries to be an all-in-one entertainment behemoth.
The image around the globe of Japanese TV is often one of wild and wacky programming in which contestants perform bizarre and sometimes stomach-churning tasks in front of shrieking hosts. And yet, unbeknown to many, some of the world’s most successful game show franchises are based on Japanese formats.
Executives in Japan’s television industry believe many more undiscovered gems in their vaults are ripe for global audiences. It has been many years since a Japanese drama made an impact overseas, and comedy often struggles to cross language and cultural barriers, but game shows can be localized relatively easily.
The format shows no signs of fatigue in Japan, where variety programming dominates ratings in the 7 to 10 p.m. slot known as “golden time.” And if the networks can sell a fraction of the ideas in those shows overseas, they might become export earners as big as Sony became with the Walkman.