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Digital TV Launch Shakes Up Programming

Posted December. 01, 2005 03:22,   


Starting December 1, Digital Media Broadcasting, known as DMB services, will be provided so that one can enjoy high quality TV programs as well as terrestrial daytime TV programs at any time and at any place.

For the first time in terrestrial TV’s fifty-year history, daytime programs will be on air, which has raised concerns of too many re-runs. That worry makes sense now. The emergence of DMB, enabling mobile TV watchers to watch any program they want, is likely to change the patterns of TV viewing.

Introduction of Daytime Programs –

The program planning for KBS, MBC, SBS and EBS released on November 30 contains all the re-runs for previously aired drama series, entertainment shows and talk shows. It is a far cry from the original intention of broadcasters on the necessity of daytime programs, saying, “They are necessary to increase the airing time of public-interest programs for the underprivileged, and to re-transmit TV to terrestrial DMB.”

As for KBS 2TV, one of its cultural programs, “Let`s talk about life” moves to another channel, KBS 1TV, and will be replaced by “Drama Specials”(Monday and Tuesday) and “Special Drama”(Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). Moreover, re-runs will be aired under the name“2TV Specials,” including “Human Theater”(Monday to Friday, 1:30 pm), “Imagination Plus”; “Sponge”; “A Perfect Match”; “Star Golden Bell,” and “Vitamin.”

As for MBC, “Marry Me”; A Man And A Woman”; Best Theater,” and others will be re-run, along with “I Really Wanted To See You”(Wednesday 3:00 pm).

As for SBS, “Kim Seung-hyun and Jung Eun-a`s Good Morning” and “Good Eating and Good Living” will be edited to be on air from 3:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, EBC will introduce “Asian Movie Journey” (Monday to Friday, 12:00 p.m.), animation, and programs for the housewife audience.

One related official at a broadcasting network said on such program planning, “Drama re-runs are for the disabled who have not been able to watch the previous ones, and narration will be added for them to better understand.”

Introduction of Terrestrial DMB –

Unlike satellite DMB, which started May this year, terrestrial DMB is free-of-charge as there is no monthly fee. In addition, three terrestrial networks, namely KBC, MBC and SBS, and two other networks, namely YTNDMB and U1media (a changed version of KMMB) will start their services. Korea DMB is planning to start its service in February next year after trial airings this month.

In the name of “U KBS,” KBS is showing “KBS Stars,” re-transmitted from KBS1, and “KBS Music,” a radio channel.

As for “myMBC,” a DMB TV channel of MBC will provide its own DMB programs of 11 hours and 35 minutes a week with re-runs from terrestrial networks.

Meanwhile, “SBS ⓤ” of SBS will have a 24 hour airing service, and to celebrate its foundation anniversary, from 2:10 p.m. for three weeks, 20 award winning short movies from home and abroad will be aired.

As for YTNDMB, there will be four channels, including mYTN, which re-transmits 70 percent of YTN News. As for U1media, all the channel names will be U1, providing four channels, except for “KBS Heart,” which provides re-runs of KBS2 programs.

However, mobile phones for terrestrial DMB transmission are not sold yet, so those who want to watch terrestrial DMB will have to depend on their laptops and PDAs or related devices for the time being.

Domestic mobile phone makers such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronic are developing mobile phones for terrestrial DMB, but SK Telecom, KTF, and LG Telecom are not providing the devices.

The Ministry of Information and Communications announced on November 30 that within this year, mobile phones for terrestrial DMB would be available. However a related person from one mobile communications company said, “It is not clear whether mobile phone sales for terrestrial DMB will be possible even for next year,” adding, “It is broadcasting networks that benefit from the terrestrial DMB, but mobile communications companies have to afford for marketing and distribution costs, which is unfair.”

Jung-Bo Suh Sang-Hoon Kim suhchoi@donga.com sanhkim@donga.com