KCC: ‘Fast’ decision due on licenses

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KCC: ‘Fast’ decision due on licenses

Korea’s broadcasting and communications authority says it will make a swift decision about awarding new broadcasting licenses, promising to begin the process after the June elections and make its selections for new national networks by the end of this year.

During a seminar on Jeju Island yesterday, Korea Communications Commission Chairman Choi See-joong said the commission will announce its guidelines for the awards this month or next, and, “We will reach our conclusions as fast as possible after the regional election.”

Choi said the decision will not be partial or political.

“As the public interest in new broadcasting stations is very high, we will review the qualifications fairly and rationally,” he said.

Choi said he is still mulling whether the commission should limit the number of new networks to a maximum of four, or grant licenses to every qualified broadcaster.

Choi dodged questions about the delayed selection of new broadcasters, which had been expected in the first half of this year, as he made his remarks at a meeting of newspaper and broadcast editors. In his opening speech and in a question-and-answer session, he said the selection criteria will examine whether the candidates can provide competitive content and global prowess.

Korea currently has three network channels, as well as cable TV stations.

“Since 1990, we have had multiple channels and media outlets, but network television still accounts for 70 percent of TV commercials,” Choi said. “We cannot improve competitiveness in such an inflexible market.”

Choi added that adding new broadcasters will lead to more competitive programming and distribution, which in turn will energize the local broadcasting market and create more global media companies in Korea.

By Lee Sang-bok [jbiz91@joongang.co.kr]
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