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Longer Day Broadcasting Due on Weekdays in Dec.

2005/11/08 | Permalink | Source

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3 Major TV Networks Expect to See Jump in Revenue

By Bae Keun-min
Staff Reporter

Daytime broadcasting on weekdays will likely be allowed as early as next month at central and local network television stations, including KBS, MBC and SBS in Seoul, when digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) begins in earnest.

The Korean Broadcasting Commission (KBC) will hold a session today to vote for a scheme that will increase broadcasting to 19 hours a day on weekdays.

Regulations permit the networks to broadcast 15 hours a day, from 6 a.m. to noon and from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays. They broadcast 19 hours a day on weekends from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

It is probable the plan will get approval, as the commission has been pushing the expansion of allotted broadcasting time since 2001. The KBC held a public hearing on the scheme last month.

With the rise in daytime broadcasting hours, the three largest networks in Seoul are expected to see a jump of 3 billion won in combined advertising earnings per month or 36 billion won a year, the KBC estimated.

In the hearing, the KBC also expressed its intention to eventually allow 24-hour-a-day freedom in broadcasting as there are no such regulations in many other nations.

The KBC expects liberalization will provide the networks with equal opportunities in running programs that cable and satellite television and DMB service providers run. It said the expansion will also secure the independence of the broadcasters, resulting in better service to TV viewers.

Critics, however, say the expanded broadcasting would not translate into better service. "A question arises whether the plan will lead to improvements in program quality at the networks as they have filled daytime slots on weekends with reruns", Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice said.

The program provider association under the Korean Cable TV Association opposes the plan, saying the scheme will simply result in more reruns of entertainment programs.

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