SEOUL Korean sellers will be arriving at Mipcom during a critical time for the fortunes of homegrown TV dramas.
Following a crash in the exports of South Korean films, many have been watching to see whether local TV series will follow the same downward path.
“In terms of volume and sales, 2007 has been about the same for us as last year,” says Sean Kim of commercial broadcaster SBS’ sales team. “However, it’s true that the market environment is getting a bit worse for us.”
Other major broadcasters corroborate, noting that sales figures have remained steady, but the sharp export growth seen in 2000-2005 is a thing of the past.
Several high-profile titles will be up for sale at Mipcom, particularly historical works. Commercial web MBC has high hopes for historical drama “Yi San,” a portrait of an 18th-century king told from a more modern, humanistic perspective. Work will be directed by Lee Byung-hun, who helmed one of South Korea’s most successful dramas ever, “Jewel in the Palace.”
SBS will counter with its own historical piece, “The King and I,” which has earned high ratings locally since its August bow. The company also has high hopes for contemporary drama “Lobbyist,” with star casting and a $13 million budget. And KBS has a historical piece of its own, the eight-episode “Conspiracy in the Court,” set against the arrival of modern technology in the late 19th century.
1. High as the Sky, Wide as the Earth (KBS)
2. Dae Jo-young (KBS)
3. Coffee Prince (MBC)