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KBS Wants 62.1 Billion Won Subsidy

Posted February. 16, 2006 02:59,   


The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) was found to have a plan to request a total of 62.1 billion won in state subsidies for next four years after receiving 9.1 billion won from the government’s 2006 budget. It has been criticized for attempting to keep the mismanaged company afloat with taxpayers’ money.

According to “KBS Plans for Government-Subsidized Businesses in 2007” that Grand National Party lawmaker Park Hyung-jun publicized on Wednesday, the state broadcasting networks plans to request a total of 62.1 billion won from the government, including 17.9 billion won in 2007, 13.8 billion won in 2008, 16.2 billion won in 2009 and 14.2 billion won in 2010.

KBS said in its business plan submitted to the Korean Broadcasting Commission on February 10, “Some broadcasting areas of the company, such as international broadcasting and socio-educational broadcasting, need continued financial support from the government because they exist to meet the nation’s needs. The company needs the government’s financial support, because the company’s major sources of income, such as TV subscription fees and advertising fees are not sufficient to run the state broadcasting network.”

KBS made a case for the continued financial support from the government in 2005, saying that it would face a deficit amounting to tens of billions of won. Contrary to its forecast, however, it made profits exceeding 50 billion won last year. In this regard, some point out that it doesn’t make sense that the company keeps asking for financial support.

Park argued, “KBS keeps relying on the state financial support without making efforts to improve its management through restructuring and streamlining its business. The parliament should first review the company’s proposed budget to decide whether to offer financial support.”

Dong-Yong Min mindy@donga.com