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2012年10月14日 (日)

受信料値下げ NHK改革を進める一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 14, 2012)
NHK viewership fee cut must lead to further reform
受信料値下げ NHK改革を進める一歩に(10月13日付・読売社説)

NHK has cut its monthly television subscription fee, starting this month. The public broadcaster should take this opportunity to press ahead with internal reform.
 NHKが今月から受信料を引き下げた。これを契機にNHK改革をさらに進めるべきである。

The fee cut is the first since 1968, when NHK introduced the current subscription fee system. The monthly fee of 1,345 yen for viewers of terrestrial broadcasting has been reduced by 120 yen when it is automatically withdrawn from bank accounts or paid by credit card, and by 70 yen when paid via bank transfers or convenience stores.
 値下げは、現行の受信料体制になった1968年以来初めてだ。月額1345円の地上契約は、口座振替やクレジットカード支払いで120円、振り込みで70円安くなった。

The fee reduction is equivalent to 7 percent of NHK's subscription revenues. The cut is expected to reduce NHK's revenues by more than 100 billion yen during the three-year period from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2014.
 値下げ分は、受信料収入の7%に相当する。2012~14年度の3年間で1000億円を超える減収となる見通しだ。

In recent years, NHK has come under public fire for a string of misappropriations of expenditures for program production and other scandals, increasing the number of people who refuse to pay.
 制作費の流用など不祥事が相次ぎ、受信料の不払いが増えた。

The fee cut is believed to be aimed at recovering eroded public trust.
今回の値下げは、失墜した信頼の回復を狙ったのだろう。

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Cost-cutting efforts not enough

The impact the cut will have on the business of NHK will not be small. NHK management says the public broadcaster plans to make up for the revenue reduction by redoubling efforts to boost the percentage of subscription payers and curtail expenditures. It is questionable, however, whether NHK can implement the cost-cutting plans as envisioned.
 経営への影響は決して小さくない。NHKは支払率改善と経費削減で対応する考えだが、想定通り行くのか、疑問は残る。

The national average of payment ratios for NHK subscription fees, which the broadcaster made public recently for the first time, stands at 72.5 percent. By prefecture, Akita had the highest ratio at 94.6 percent while Okinawa had the lowest at 42 percent.
 先月、初公表した都道府県別の受信料支払率は、平均が72・5%だった。最低の沖縄は42・0%で、最高だった秋田の94・6%とは大きな差がある。

The percentages of paid subscribers are also low in Tokyo and Osaka, hovering at around 60 percent. The subscription fee cut should be used as a lever to boost the percentage of fee payers.
東京、大阪も6割前後と低い。値下げをテコに支払率向上に取り組むべきだ。

A continuation of NHK's reform efforts is crucial to restoring viewers' trust.
 視聴者の信頼を取り戻すうえで重要なのは、改革の継続だ。

NHK has launched a three-year business improvement program starting this fiscal year. However, its workforce of more than 10,000 will be reduced by only 280 under the plan.
 NHKは今年度から新経営計画をスタートさせたが、1万人を超す職員数は、3年間で280人程度の削減にとどまる。

The broadcaster should step up its streamlining endeavors to enhance efficiency of its bloated corporate structure.
肥大化した組織にメスを入れ、もう一段のスリム化を目指すべきだろう。

Its efforts to slash expenditures can hardly be considered sufficient.
 経費削減努力も甘い。

Despite the subscription fee cut, NHK still will secure more than 600 billion yen in revenues. There should be concern that the colossal amount of subscription revenues will lead to a lack of cost-consciousness among NHK employees.
値下げしてもNHKは、なお年6000億円超の財源を確保できる。巨額の受信料収入が、コスト意識の欠如を招く恐れはないか。

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Quality programming crucial

In an age when fewer people are watching TV, NHK must focus on prompt reporting and high-quality programming.
 テレビ離れが進む中、NHKに期待されているのは、迅速な報道や質の高い番組づくりだ。

The broadcaster has in fact gained a degree of public trust for such activities as earthquake disaster reporting and documentary programs. But instead of being complacent with this, NHK must renew its awareness of its proper role as a public broadcaster. Making programs similar to those seen on commercial television will never be enough.
 震災報道やドキュメンタリー番組などで、NHKは一定の評価を得ている。それに安住せず、公共放送にふさわしい役割を再認識することだ。民放と同じような番組ばかりでは困る。

With the use of mobile communication devices rapidly spreading, the issue of fusion of broadcasting and telecommunications is taking on greater significance to broadcast operations.
 携帯端末の普及を受け、放送と通信の融合が今後の事業展開で大きなテーマとなる。

A case in point is the planned service of real-time transmission of broadcasts via the Internet. If realized, the service will enable people to watch broadcasts with smartphones wherever they are.
例えば、放送をインターネットで同時送信するサービスだ。実現すれば、スマートフォン(高機能携帯電話)で、どこでも番組を視聴できる。

The advisability of such services being undertaken by NHK, which depends on viewer subscription, should be discussed as scrupulously as possible.
 ただし、受信料で運営されるNHKに適した事業かどうか、その可否は慎重に議論すべきだ。

A firmly established framework of in-house governance is indispensable to the reform of NHK.
 改革推進には、強固な統治体制が欠かせない。

Kenichiro Hamada, who previously worked at All Nippon Airways, has assumed the long-troubled chairmanship of NHK's board of governors, the broadcaster's supreme decision-making body.
ゴタゴタ続きの経営委員長職に、全日本空輸出身の浜田健一郎氏が就任した。

The new board chairman said in a press conference last month he is committed to "keeping a sound balance between NHK's business execution branch and the board as mutually necessary entities."
記者会見で「執行部とは車の両輪として緊張関係を保つ」と語った。

We hope very much Hamada will give full play to his ability in steering NHK in the right direction.
しっかりしたかじ取りを望みたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 13, 2012)
(2012年10月13日02時14分  読売新聞)

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