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Does gov`t policy favor the 3 main terrestrial broadcasters?

Does gov`t policy favor the 3 main terrestrial broadcasters?

Posted December. 18, 2010 10:57,   


The Korea Broadcasting Commission will consider the introduction in terrestrial broadcasting next year of a program intermission advertising system of restricting the aggregate volume of ads and multimode service, or MMS.

The commission will also adopt a sponsorship system designed to boost the capacity of production agencies, and reduce the portion of programs made by outsourcing agencies (currently 35-40 percent) for use by terrestrial broadcasters.

The measures have long been demanded by existing broadcasters, and critics say the commission is favoring terrestrial broadcasters in its policy.

The commission presented to President Lee Myung-bak Friday a report on the “core tasks in broadcasting and communication for 2011” detailing these and other policies.

“We will ease regulations on broadcast advertising (including allowing program intermission advertising) to increase the size of the domestic advertising market from 8.1 trillion won (7 billon U.S. dollars) to 13.2 trillion won (11.4 billion dollars), or 1 percent of GDP,” it said.

Critics warn, however, that if the government implements these policies without forming a social consensus, the market dominance by the three terrestrial broadcasters will grow and lower the quality of TV programs due to excessive competition to increase viewership.

MMS is a digital technology in which broadcasters divide frequency bands previously used for a single channel into as many as four channels. Terrestrial broadcasters led by KBS are considering plans to form “Korea View” and transmit more than 20 channels simultaneously.

Experts say granting the right to operate channels made available due to the development of digital technology only to terrestrial broadcasters constitutes giving “special favors” to them.

To ensure the successful launch of general broadcast and news channels next year as planned, the commission will continue its assessment of competition and streamline regulatory standards.