×

Korea: BCC to usher in more open era

Mip Territory Reports

SEOUL — South Korea looks likely to enter a new and more open era in broadcasting regulation with the launch of its Broadcasting and Communication Commission.

Officially opened at the end of February, the new agency is a merger of the Korean Broadcasting Commission and the now-disbanded Information Ministry and will oversee regulation of broadcasting, telecoms and rapidly growing new media technologies.

The restructuring is part of a broad downsizing and reorganization of government that was initiated by Korea’s first CEO-turned-president, Lee Myung-bak, who was sworn into office Feb. 26.

In past years, turf battles between the KBC and the Information Ministry had held up the drafting of regulations on convergent technologies such as Internet protocol television (IPTV).

Potentially just as groundbreaking, however, is the government’s positive attitude toward deregulation of the broadcasting industry.

“The regulations for telecommunication industries have long been designed to spur more competition, while the broadcasting industry has been heavily regulated,” says communications professor Hwang Geun of Sun Moon U. “With the two sectors rapidly integrating, the deregulation of all of those sectors is a global trend.”

For example, a long-standing ban on companies owning both newspapers and television stations is expected to be lifted, while a round of mergers and acquisitions in the cable sector are predicted with the relaxing of market-share rules for multisystem operators.

In particular, Korea’s major conglomerates are expected to take advantage of widened access to the cable sector in order to compete with the nation’s telcos, which are aggressively pushing IPTV.

Meanwhile, the BCC has indicated it will re-examine such issues as restrictions on advertising and the role of Korea’s public television stations.

Detailed proposals for deregulation are expected to emerge in the coming months, but the start of operations for the BCC is being held back by a parliamentary battle over the appointment of Choi See-joong, a close confidante of the president, to head the agency. Opposition lawmakers accuse the president of trying to wield influence over the media by nominating a member of his inner circle, and allegations of past wrongdoing by Choi when he was head of Gallup Korea have further weakened his case.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content