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JAMCO Online International Symposium

19th JAMCO Online International Symposium

February 1 to February 28, 2010

International Exchange in TV Drama Productions

Readers’ Feedback(1)

Mafumi Murase
Rikkyo University

The 19th JAMCO Online International Symposium spotlighted many problems that require attention in examining into the international distribution of Japanese TV drama productions.

TV drama is deeply rooted in the culture of its creators in order to win the empathy of the home viewing audience. At the same time, it can offer market value of that crosses national boundaries, as seen in TV programs from the United States that won popularity in the past and in Korean productions that have attracted viewers in recent years.

As mentioned in the Summary, Japanese TV drama, that had been produced with domestic viewing in mind, undeniably has structural weakness in terms of international strategic marketing value.

In this respect, we should be paying attention to the European Union (EU) consisting of 27 nations, which directs its attention to video production for distribution in an international market while maintaining cultural diversity.

In the EU, television broadcasters in all EU nations are urged to have European-produced productions make up the majority of broadcast time for drama and documentary program as a common target in broadcasting that “should be achieved progressively”. Another target they are asked to achieve is to have programs from independent creators to account for 10% of airtime or production budget in the program genre.
Furthermore, to supplement this scheme applied to all EU member nations, EU has established its MEDIA Programme to assist in international collaboration in the development and international distribution of video productions. The MEDIA Programme offers financial support in a broad range of areas — from screenwriter and broadcasting management training and subsidies granted to TV program and film creators to assistance in distribution of video productions, including captioning and dubbing such programs. In 2009, a system has been created to build cooperated ties with non-EU nations as well.
EU had established the common rule regarding local content programming in 1989. The MEDIA Programme was unveiled in 1991. Nearly 20 years have already passed since it has started its effort to secure a place in the international market through reinforcement of its production and distribution capabilities, rather than by taking policy action to regulate international program distribution. Today, it is said that “nine out of ten films that are distributed beyond national boundaries in Europe have received MEDIA Programme assistance.” In fact, 3 of the award winners at the 2009 Cannes International Film Festival had been subsidized under the Programme.
International distribution of TV and film productions requires patient and diligent national strategy.

Mafumi Murase

Rikkyo University

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