JTBC tops list in broadcast survey

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JTBC tops list in broadcast survey

The Korea Communications Commission announced yesterday that JTBC, the broadcast arm of the JoongAng Ilbo, ranked No. 1 in its survey that evaluated the performance of the four new TV cable networks.

This is the first time that the media regulation agency conducted a survey of the new broadcasters since the four major local newspapers launched their own TV networks in 2011, after obtaining licenses from the government in 2010.

The Maeil Business Newspaper’s MBN came in second, followed by the Chosun Ilbo’s TV Chosun. The Dong-a Ilbo’s Chanel A ranked last.

The agency evaluated the four companies across 24 categories based on their financial stability, program content and management.

JTBC finished on top in 16 categories, with a total score of 559.6 out of 700. MBN received 554.2, while TV Chosun received 546.7.

All four stations scored poorly when it came to airing children’s programs.

The results of the survey are being closely followed because the government will factor in the scores when it decides in March which broadcasters are eligible to renew their licenses.

But despite the significance of the survey, some have raised concerns about the way general cable networks are rated.

The rating system is designed in such a way that makes it easier for stations that air documentaries, news and natural desaster reporting to achieve higher scores.

Broadcast officials have long complained about the standards, saying the rating system hinders new broadcasters from running more diverse content.

When it comes to the assessment of existing conventional free-to-air TV networks, KBS came first, followed by SBS and MBC.

The JoongAng Ilbo founded the Tongyang Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) in 1964 and operated the network for 16 years. The station produced hit dramas and programs, such as “Show Show Show,” back in the 1960s and ’70s, but was forced to consolidate with KBS in 1980 under the military regime, which sought to diminish the power of the press.

The newspaper said it aspires to replicate the glory of TBC. With that goal in mind, it has invested a large sum of money, working to attract star producers and A-list celebrities to its programs. It invested a total of 162.5 billion won ($152.8 million) last year, while MBN spent 80.2 billion won and TV Chosun 86.1 billion won.

JTBC airs on channel No. 15.

BY KANG TAE-HWA [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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