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Korea becomes a Battlefield for Global UHD Broadcasting - MSIP approves Retransmission of Foreign Channels
08/20/2015 | By Yoon, Heeseok (pioneer@etnews.com)


Korea has become a battle field for global UHD broadcasting.

As 3 paid broadcasting stations such as Cable TV, IPTV, and Satellite Broadcasting all commercialize UHD broadcasting, foreign UHD channel businesses are slowly gathering at Korean market.

Ministry of Science, ICP and Future Planning (MSIP) recently approved retransmission of Virgin Island’s media business called Footprint Media Holding’s High TV 4K channels in Korea.

“We’ve decided on final approval after examining request for retransmission that was submitted by Footprint Media Holdings. If we sign off on contract of retransmission with paid broadcasting platform businesses, viewers in Korea can watch corresponding channels.” said a person associated with MSIP.

“We are going to provide UHD broadcasting contents including VoD in global markets and increase 60 hours of UHD contents to 250 hours within this year.” said CEO Eric Klein of Footprint Media on its homepage.


This is the first when government approved retransmission of foreign UHD channels. As first hurdle is lifted, it is expected that major contents businesses such as Netflix and others that have been trying to enter into Korean market will enter now.

Foreign businesses can use Korean UHD market as their testbeds. They can reexamine reactions from viewers, quality of contents, delivery technologies, organization techniques, and others by retransmitting UHD channels. With High TV 4K leading off, it is expected that there will be an increase of foreign media businesses that are looking to enter into Korean market.

“Global broadcasting businesses such as Netflix and others are actively pursuing Korean market by using their UHD services as their means of entering into Korean market. If Korean UHD channels want to preoccupy leadership in markets, they need to work on securing variety of high-quality UHD contents.” said a person associated with paid broadcasting channel.

There are some people who are worried that Korea’s UHD industry will fall into half as foreign UHD contents are encroaching Korean market. Although platform market is huge, it can bring a bad effect of Korean contents being subordinated to foreign businesses. As local channels that recently secured frequency are actively investing in UHD, Korea is at a point where it needs urgent countermeasures.

Number of Korea’s UHD channels increased to 5 as there are UMAX, CJ E&M ‘UXN, Skylife TV’s ‘Sky UHD 1, 2’, and High TV 4K. It is known that High TV 4K will form variety programs that are produced in English.

It is predicted that competition between paid broadcasting channels to attract foreign UHD channels will get fiercer as they can increase number of channels and amount of UHD contents at the same time if they retransmit foreign channels. Actually it is heard that SK Broadband recently is negotiating with foreign businesses about transmitting UHD channels to provide multi-channel UHD service.

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