Warner makes Korean mobile move

Pics, series to be sold direct to customers

SEOUL — Warner Bros. is to become the first Hollywood studio to see its movies distributed directly to mobile TV in Korea. Move follows a deal with the country’s number two phone company KTF.

The service, known as Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, launched Wednesday with an initial offering of 150 recent movies and TV series.

Movies will be available at W2,000 ($1.40) each, TV series for $0.70 per episode.

Initial lineup includes the “Harry Potter” and “The Matrix” movie franchises, recent blockbusters “Speed Racer,” “The Bucket List” and “10,000 B.C.” and television series “Friends,” “ER” and “West Wing.”

“Korea has a wide range of consumers who are used to enjoying digital content, based on world’s best Internet environment and mobile infrastructure,” said Cho Hong-yeon, director of Warner Korea’s Digital Distribution unit. “We’re driving forward distribution businesses on Internet, IPTV and digital cable TV.”

Earlier this month, Warner closed its Korean home video business unit due to falling revenues from the country’s collapsing DVD market.

Country has more than 10 million subscribers to two competing mobile TV services.

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