Twitch is getting mixed up in some K-drama this month.
The Amazon-owned video service inked a deal with DramaFever, a unit of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, to live-stream 26 Asian drama series — featuring a total of 254 episodes — during the month of August.
The featured DramaFever series span romantic comedies, melodramas and crime thrillers with the chronological episode blocks featuring either select episodes or full seasons. The lineup includes the full series of popular Korean rom-com “Boys Over Flowers,” along with “Jealousy Incarnate,” “The Best Hit,” “Go Ho’s Starry Night,” “Heart Signal,” “Hospital Ship,” “Longing Heart,” “Missing Nine” and “Thumping Spike.” In addition, Twitch will live-stream some episodes of “Goblin: The Lonely and Great God,” “Heirs” and My Sassy Girl.”
The shows will air Wednesday through Saturday from Aug. 1-25 starting at 10 a.m. PT on Twitch Presents (twitch.tv/twitchpresents), its hub for featured programming. According to Twitch is “Making this event even better is that it’s the first time new and existing K-drama fans in North America and Latin America get to enjoy this type of programming with the interactive appeal of Twitch chat for “a shared real-time experience.”
The K-dramas from DramaFever are part of Twitch’s efforts to broaden its appeal beyond video-game broadcasting. Its previous programmatic TV show marathons have included live-streaming “Doctor Who,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Power Rangers,” “Yu-Gi-Oh!”
Twitch believes there’s crossover appeal between fans of K-dramas and other content on Twitch, like anime. “Korean dramas have become a cultural phenomenon outside of Asia based on the fresh plots with frequent cliffhangers, and being a window into the country’s culture, including its fashion, food, and music,” Jane Weedon, Twitch’s director of business development, said in a statement.
For DramaFever, the Twitch deal is about exposure: It’s hoping the sampling of programming will drive K-drama fans to its service, which includes an ad-free premium option that starts at $4.99 per month. “Twitch Presents is a powerful opportunity for us to ignite one of the most passionate digital communities online today and gain even more fans,” DramaFever GM Rena Liu said.
Founded in 2009, New York-based DramaFever was acquired by Warner Bros. in 2016 from Japan’s SoftBank Group.