Go to contents

SBS Given Required Points but Withheld Re-permission Recommendation

SBS Given Required Points but Withheld Re-permission Recommendation

Posted December. 01, 2004 22:58,   


It is reported that the Korean Broadcasting Commission (KBC) recently withheld recommending SBS three times. The KBC reviewed procedures for recommending the re-permission of TV networks and suspended its recommendation of SBS even though the company gained points well above the passing mark.

According to what the KBC reported to Culture and Tourism Committee under the National Assembly in October on the re-permission recommendation review, SBS received 690.28 points out of 1,000, comfortably passing the required 650 points for re-permission recommendation.

“Broadcasting evaluation” points for SBS graded by the KBC was 418.28 out of a possible 500, second only to KBS1 (423.25). The figure is higher than that of MBC, which stands at 393.78.

However, SBS did poorly in nine criteria, including its contribution to the public good and communities and managerial transparency, marking 272 out of 500 points. The figure is the lowest among four TV networks.

In terms of managerial transparency and its public good service, re-permission recommendation review commission graded the networks. Yet, the commission is now in the midst of controversy over impartiality as more than half of its nine commissioners are reportedly pro-government. To be specific, it ran into sharp protest from broadcasting companies for giving 300 points to criteria that have no legal grounds such as public good service.

In regard to this, the KBC said, “Even though SBS passed the required mark, we withheld recommending re-permission for the company as there were some newly-found concerns such as its separation of ownership and management or its failure to fulfill its promise to give back its gains to society.”

In the meantime, the ruling Uri Party’s Special Committee for Media Development noted on December 1, “We will seek the opening of a National Assembly hearing in order to give light to SBS’ failure to keep its promise to return its gains to society and allegations over its foundation and permission.” On the same day, Uri Party member Jung Chung-rae, who is also working for the committee, explained the background for their pursuit of a hearing, “There is much suspicion surrounding SBS such as controversy over privatization of broadcasting and its identity as a private local TV network, and SBS should dispel them.”

Concerning the time scheduled for the hearing, he continued, “We will set a good date after a hearing for the media bills under the Culture and Tourism Committee scheduled for next week.” A high-ranking official working for SBS reacted by saying, “We’ll make our stance clear on this issue in the hearing.”

Jin-Yeong Lee Min-Hyuk Park ecolee@donga.com mhpark@donga.com