KBS, MBC, and SBS have all agreed to reduce both drama and variety show airing times by five minutes.
On October 7, a representative of the three broadcasting companies stated the broadcasting companies had agreed that starting from October 21, drama airtmes will be reduced from 72 minutes to 67 minutes, while variety show airtimes will be reduced from 80 minutes to 75 minutes.
KBS’s drama production director Lee Kang Hyun commented, “Organization representatives of all three broadcasting companies have agreed that starting from October 21, drama airtimes will be reduced to 67 minutes.”
Previously in 2008, the three broadcasting companies had agreed to have dramas air for 72 minutes to prevent excessive competition.
Although five years ago the airtime agreement was for the prevention of excessive competition, the agreement this time around occurred for the improvement of the production environment, and because of the diminishing commercial market.
Director Lee stated, “Lately, drama production has become labor intensive, and the commercial market has not be fairing well. Currently, as dramas have an airtime of 80 minutes including commercial time, the number of dramas unable to sell all of its commercials slots is increasing.”
He continued, “The goal of agreeing to 67 minutes of broadcast time is for the production environment to transform into a more humane setting and to also help with the reduction of drama production fees.”
Even the weekly late night variety shows that air at 11 PM are not exempt from the broadcast time reduction.
A high ranking official of KBS’ variety show department revealed, “Variety shows that air on Monday through Thursday will also see a reduction of broadcast time to 75 minutes starting on October 21.”
The official further elaborated, “Previously, variety shows usually aired for 80 minutes, and sometimes we would extend the broadcast time. However, taking into consideration the constant competitive components of the broadcasting field, the burden of the editing staff, filming concluding past midnight, as well as the burden of viewership were reasons enough to take these steps towards change.”
What do think about these changes, Soompiers? Do you think this will help the drama production environment in Korea?