Network MBC looks to sell wildlife docus

SEOUL — Homegrown fare continues to dominate the broadcasting scene in South Korea, with minimal or zero interest in imported dramas and sitcoms. In fact, it has been quite a few years since one of the latter aired on any of the nation’s three main terrestrial webs.

Rather, interest at Mip TV will be focused on entertainment specials and programs for preschoolers, says Lee Soo-jin, a program buyer with Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS).

Lee says the Mip market is less useful for acquiring Hollywood films, which are typically purchased in packages twice a year on other occasions. Likewise, she says Japanese animation programs are usually acquired directly.

On the sales side, rival network Munhwa Broadcasting Corp. (MBC) will be promoting its wildlife documentary programs. With many cable and satellite networks devoted to various topics, Jean Hur, a MBC sales and acquisitions manager, says there are many opportunities for niche marketing.

In particular, she is enthusiastic about “Antelopes of the DMZ,” a docu examining wildlife living in the no man’s land dividing North and South Korea. It will air locally in the end of March.

Making its market debut at Mip TV is Cinema Service, the South Korea’s leading film financier-distrib, which recently expanded into TV sales. The company has a 35% ownership stake in Kim Jong Hak Prods., a leading independent TV producer.

Cinema Service will be flogging its catalog of about 50 feature films, TV dramas and animated series, including a 3-D animation skein produced by Japan’s Idea Factory and Korea’s Digital Dream Studio.

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