Fox to close South Korea vid unit

Internet piracy has been blamed for continued stagnation

Twentieth Century Fox is to shutter its stand-alone video releasing operation in South Korea, according to local wire reports.

Local news sources report Korean video distribber Bitwin will take over releasing of the studio’s titles in the territory.

Move reps the third home entertainment withdrawal from Korea this year by a Hollywood major, following Paramount in June and Universal in April. Par pacted with local entertainment giant CJ Entertainment, U with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Internet piracy has been blamed for the continued stagnation of the DVD sector, which stands in sharp contrast to the decadelong period of growth in theatrical admissions. With one of the highest rates of broadband penetration in the world, a widespread culture of illegal downloading has flourished among young viewers.

In an effort to boost sagging ancillary markets, Warner Bros. pacted with local broadcaster MBC to sell legal downloads of its films online from the second half of this year.