Korean Telecom, a phones to TV channels giant, has signed a content partnership agreement with U.S. media firm Discovery to launch a joint venture that will produce original, non-scripted Korean entertainment content for Korean and international audiences.

The contents will be broadcast through KT’s subsidiary channel operator SkylifeTV, Discovery Korea and Discovery’s global channels network. A statement explained that the joint venture would be responsible for handling its own content distribution in other media and platforms.

KT’s SkylifeTV currently operates eight entertainment channels. Facing growing competition from local and multinational streaming companies, KT and Skylife have been busily increasing their involvement in content production. Recent investments include shows: “Welcome to My House,” “Fresh Husband,” “Song and Kim’s Top Movies,” and “We Play.”

KT’s president of customer & media Koo Hyun-Mo, called the joint venture: “a major milestone for Korea’s local content industry (that) brings a wind of change in the Korean entertainment programs’ ecosystem for consumers.”

Streaming platforms Netflix, Amazon and Viu have all invested in original Korean film and TV content. They regard Korean shows as attracting and retaining significant regional and international audiences.
“This content partnership will shine a spotlight on the innovation coming from the Korean creative industries and spark additional international curiosity and interest in Korean content,” said Simon Robinson, president of Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, and CFO of Discovery Networks International.