Tide Begins to Turn on Korean Wave

Updated Mar.7, 2006 20:54 KST  
The Korean wave looks to be receding, as Japanese terrestrial TV broadcasters cut the number of Korean dramas in their programming. According to a report on the "Reality and Prospect of Korean Dramas on Japanese TV" published by Korean Broadcasting Institute on Tuesday, the number of Japanese terrestrial broadcasters that have included Korean dramas in their programming stood at 36 as of February, which is almost a 50 percent decrease from the 64 of last February.

The report attributes the ebb in popularity with terrestrial broadcasters to the fact that no Korean stars have emerged to fill the shoes of Bae Yong-joon or Choi Ji-woo, combined with the fact that Korean dramas are steadily losing their competitive edge to Chinese and Hong Kong dramas in terms of price. By contrast, the number of Korean dramas aired on Japanese satellite TV channels have increased from 5 last year to 9 on BS and from 45 to 55 on CS.

Kim Yung-duk, who conducted the research, said that the reduction in the number of Korean dramas aired on Japanese terrestrial TV channels — which resulted mainly from the challenge offered up by Chinese dramas — as well as the weakened price competitiveness of Korean dramas clouds the prospects for Korean dramas in Japan. He stressed that Korea needs to come up with measures to secure channels to air Korean dramas by, for instance, starting a new channel in Japan or investing capital in the Japanese channels. 
Source: http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200603/200603070029.html