The 72-minute rule is hot topic once again.
The issue about making all mini-series broadcasted in the three broadcasting stations started in 2008. The main 3 stations gathered in January last year and emphasized the 72-minute rule. However, this is just a gentlemen's agreement which has no legal force. It's like glass that can break at any time.
The 72-minute rule was mentioned again with the start of KBS 2TV "IRIS 2", MBC "7th Grade Civil Servant" and SBS "That Winter, the Wind Blows". When "That Winter, the Wind Blows" broadcasted episodes 1 and 2 together, there were many complaints about breaking the 72-minute rule. It was indeed an extreme choice but taking into thought that programs aired in the 10PM timeline has lower viewing percentage than the 11PM timeline, it was a gamble which could've resulted in two sides. This is because if the second episode would've rated less than the first, the drama would face some serious criticism. KBS had urgently organized the movie "The Front Line" so it lost cause to attack "That Winter, the Wind Blows".
The 72-minute rule continued afterwards. "7th Grade Civil Servant" which was running the lead on Wednesdays and Thursdays was caught disobeying the rule. It had aired another minute more than the usual. It has even cut back on the preview just to show a little more of the drama. This little fight of time is an attempt to bring up the percentage a little more.
On the other hand, there are those who claim that the minute difference is nominal. When a popular drama ends, the viewers even watch the preview. That means that they don't change the channel right away. Also, dramas have continuity so that the viewers won't change the channel to watch the ending of another drama -- they don't know the story, either. The 72-minute rule apparently has the bigger meaning of fair competition rather than the difference in percentage.
This is just a negative effect created by percentage supremacy. The viewing percentage just happens to be the first way to judge a drama and therefore, the three stations have no choice but to be sensitive about the time. They try to make a stimulating ending and go at each other to create a bloody battle. This is another result of the Korean broadcasting industry which isn't equipped with pre-making the dramas. If this was true, there would be less efforts to take the risk for a stinking 0.1%. "That Winter, the Wind Blows" was one that pre-produced before broadcasting, completing the quality of the drama.
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"The most important 72 minutes"
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