The missiles may not be physically crashing into Japan, but their effect is hitting television stations square in the wallet.
For the second time in only a matter of weeks North Korea sent a missile straight over Japan and into the ocean, and as a result the international community has come together as one and declared: “It’s the other guys’ problem.”
So we can probably expect more rockets to whiz over our heads in the future, each time triggering the J-Alert system which sends an automatic warning to everyone’s mobile phone and instructs us to take cover. As scary as that is, at least no actual harm is coming to Japan, right?
“Wrong,” say the television networks of the country who have taken damages in several ways and are seriously concerned about future missile launches. For starters, Kim Jong-un’s timing is particularly rude, cutting into the peak hours of morning television which is made up largely of “wide-shows:” the Japanese equivalent to a program titled Good Morning [insert place name here].
These shows are live and often feature field segments or celebrity guests that cost a significant amount to produce, only to be wiped out at the slightest beep of a J-Alert. These programs are essentially just news-based talk about issues of the day, but studies show that about 70 percent of viewers tune in for them.
Unfortunately, its hard to give weight to a comedian’s drunk driving charges while weapons of mass destruction are flying around. So these shows are forced to cover the more pressing matters of the day at the expense of their audience. The added costs of producing these segments on the fly are also incurred.
That normally wouldn’t be bad, since the first thing most people would do following an alarm is check the TV for more info. However, it seems that in the event of a J-Alert people are by-and-large instinctively tuning into Japan’s public broadcaster NHK for information, since that organization would have the closest connection to the government.
Ironically, NHK makes no money from ad revenue, instead getting it the old-fashioned way: vandalism, intimidation, and the occasional sexual assault. So they don’t really benefit from the added attention. Meanwhile, the other stations simply lose out.
Despite this, NHK has also managed to have been hurt by North Korean missile launches. On the morning of the 15 September launch, they were scheduled to air an episode of the popular daily morning drama Hiyokko. However, that was preempted by assurances that we weren’t all going to die that day, leaving fans of the plucky career woman wondering what happened next.
▼ It’s safe to say we all missed something nostalgic on that fateful day
But it’s the ad revenue where private broadcasters are bracing to receive the largest blow. As of yet, no sponsors have complained, but an industry spokesperson told Nikkan Gendai, “When J-Alerts become the norm, there may have to be price cuts to the advertising fees. The damages could reach into billions of yen.”
Such a financial burden could have an effect on future programming. In this way we could surmise that Kim Jong-un is launching an attack on the very anime that we all know and love… and to a lesser extent, those shows where people eat food and shout “umaiiiiiii” in ecstasy.