Unprecedented Partnership Will Create Product For World Market
Nippon Television Network Corporation, Warner Bros. and Toshiba Corporation announced that they will form a joint-venture company called Towani Corporation to produce and distribute movies and television programs for the Japanese and world markets. The announcement of this unprecedented alliance was made by Seiichiro Ujiie, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nippon Television Network Corporation; Robert A. Daly and Terry Semel, Chairmen and Co-Chief Executive Officers of Warner Bros.; and Taizo Nishimuro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toshiba Corporation.
Noritada Hosokawa has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the newly created Towani Corporation, which will be based in Tokyo, Japan. In its initial stages, the company plans to produce one to two motion pictures per year beginning in the year 2000, and will also produce television series, which will be aimed the Japanese as well as the worldwide market.
Stated Mr. Daly and Mr. Semel, "We have seen a tremendous rise around the globe in the demand for programming content, in all entertainment genres, over recent years. By combining Warner Bros.' creative, production and distribution strengths with Nippon Television, Japan's leading television broadcaster, and with Toshiba, an international leader in electronics, we have an ideal partnership through which to develop, produce and deliver top-quality film and television entertainment worldwide."
Seiichiro Ujiie, President and Chief Executive Officer of NTV, stated "NTV is seeking to position itself in the forefront of both terrestrial and broadcast-satellite digitalbroadcasting. We believe that the most powerful response to the fast-emerging diversification of broadcasting is development of a wide range of high-caliber content. That will allow us to make full use of our capacities in producing and delivering television programming. We see participation in movie development as strengthening our content-development strategy and promoting distribution of our programs to the world market."
"Toshiba is actively expanding its involvement in the broadcasting business," stated Taizo Nishimuro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Toshiba. "We see broadcasting as a growth area, one with close links to our capabilities in hardware. Through our investment in Towani, we have assured our involvement in the complete cycle of content development, broadcasting and distribution in the home-video market. This closely fits our strategy of positioning Toshiba as a major multimedia company supplying both hardware and software."
Stated Richard Fox, Warner Bros. Executive Vice President, International, "Japan is a key market for any global company, and we are very pleased to be in business with these two distinguished Japanese companies to launch this exciting joint venture. Japanese creative achievements in both live action and animation are known and respected around the world; we at Warner Bros. look forward to combining these attributes with our own to produce a unique synthesis of top-quality film and television entertainment that will target a diverse Japanese and worldwide audience."
Warner Bros. is a Time Warner Entertainment Company, part of Time Warner Inc., the world's leading media and entertainment company. Warner Bros. brings movies and television programs in 40 languages to more than 5 billion people in 150 countries around the world via theaters, television and home video.
Warner Bros. has operated in Japan for over 70 years. In 1992, the company consolidated its Japan-based distribution businesses and created Time Warner Entertainment Japan (TWEJ), a joint venture with Toshiba and leading trading house Itochu. TWEJ will also be an equity investor in Towani.
Leading broadcaster Nippon Television Network Corporation is Japan's largest commercial network, with 29 affiliate stations. NTV has offices in North America and Europe, and has 17 news bureaus in 12 countries.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer product and power systems. It currently holds the largest share of the world's portable PC market. Toshiba has 186,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $40 billion.