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KT, SoftBank sign deal to increase IPTV content

KT said 90 percent of its 43 billion won investment will go to acquiring the rights to show Korean programs.

Apr 04,2008
The nation’s Internet protocol TV, or IPTV, operators are in hot pursuit of content for better IPTV service.
KT said it will pay 20 billion won ($20.5 million) to form a new fund by beefing up its content to IPTV service with Japan-based telecom and Internet group SoftBank.
The news came at a company press conference at the Koreana Hotel in central Seoul yesterday.
SoftBank will also invest 20 billion won to form a 40 billion won fund with KT.
The two companies plan to expand investment up to 100 billion won by the end of 2008.
By signing the deal with the Japanese company, KT, the No. 2 IPTV operator, wants to secure copyrights to a vast volume of content, including animated films, TV dramas and educational shows.
KT also plans to invest 23 billion won in the venture separately from the deal with SoftBank.
KT said 90 percent of the investment will be in Korean content.
IPTV offers video-on-demand and real-time TV through a broadband network.
“We’ll seek more diverse partnerships and mergers and acquisitions with other content providers, if necessary,” said Moon Gyu-hak, president of SoftBank Ventures Korea, which will manage the fund between KT and SoftBank.
Hanarotelecom, Korea’s No. 1 IPTV operator, said it will invest 2 billion won ($2 million) in a cultural fund to secure quality content on March 25.


By Sung So-young Staff Reporter [so@joongang.co.kr]



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