Korean Arirang TV to get closer to China: CEO (Korea Herald)

2 October 2011 17 h 08 min 14 comments

Arirang TV plans to strengthen its digital TV channels to reach broader audiences in the U.S. and cooperate with a Chinese TV station to prompt interest in Korean content, its new chief said on Friday.

By Kim Yoon-mi

In Korea Herald (2/10/2011)

“Almost everyone on the planet can get Arirang content if they have the right dish. But in addition to that, we want to be specifically on a platform, to be a part of a DTV package sold in the U.S.,” said Sohn Jie-ae, president and CEO of the Korea International Broadcasting Foundation, which operates Arirang TV and Arirang radio stations. “We will probably strengthen the U.S. market to target more major cities.”

[New cooperation in South China].

Sohn and Arirang staff recently went to Guangdong, the richest region in China, to participate in a first-ever joint live production with Guangdong TV. Under an agreement between the Korean and Chinese TV stations, Arirang TV’s program “Showbiz Korea” will be aired on Guangdong TV for one hour every day.

“We’re going into markets with specific programs that we make so that we can fire interest in Korea,” Sohn said.

… / … Currently, the annual budget for Korea International Broadcasting Foundation is 54 billion won ($45.8 million). About 30 billion won comes from state funding and the rest is covered by advertisement and income from cultural events and leasing.

“It’s always difficult (to generate income) because our audience is not as specific as a Korean-language audience. Our audience tends to be more global and it is partly why it is financially not easy for us,” Sohn said. “But it’s not as bad as I thought.”

She made it clear that Arirang TV and KBS World have different audience targets. While KBS World brings content from KBS, subtitles it and brings it overseas for first-generation Koreans who want to know what their Korean counterparts are watching, Arirang TV mostly makes original content for the non-Korean speaking audience. According to an Arirang TV spokesperson, 70 percent of programming is original content.

SOURCE: Korea Herald


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