Competition leads to quality TVThe Korea Communications Commission finalized and issued licenses to the new broadcasting channels jTBC and CSTV, which are run by the JoongAng Media Network and the Chosun Ilbo, respectively.
The licenses pave the way for the nascent broadcasters to foray into nonrestrictive, general programming, ranging from news to entertainment - a domain that is currently exclusive to the country’s terrestrial broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS.
It has been two years since the media legislation was passed in July 2009, allowing industrial capital and newspaper organizations to enter the television media sector.
The heavier competition among broadcasters will likely accelerate development and globalization of media technology and content.
The television channel market so far has been monopolized by the terrestrial broadcasters. Cable and satellite platforms were supplementary, mostly carrying reruns of terrestrial programs.
The entry of the newcomers could provide an impetus for a fundamental change in the broadcasting environment. The new and existing channels will have to vie for new viewers through better quality and creative programming.
Viewers will be given greater channel choice, helping to speed up the advance of the media industry.
But the newcomers cannot make a stand on their own. The government must provide support to assure fair competition in the broadcasting market.
KCC Chairman Choi See-joong introduced an outline to expand the broadcasting advertising market.
Other efforts and ideas should ensue to allow greater opportunities for the newcomers in the market.
The National Assembly should speed up deliberation of a bill that would grant the establishment of media representatives, or advertising distribution agents, to enlarge the advertising market, which currently revolves around the three terrestrial broadcasters.
The new channels will go on air in the second half of this year. The companies must think big. They must come up with inspiring and fresh programming that can grasp audiences abroad as well as at home.
We sincerely hope that the new channels will serve as a tipping point for the media industry in Korea.