On March 28, drama industry representatives reported that SBS’s upcoming drama “Saimdang, the Herstory” sold its Chinese broadcasting rights for the high price of 315 million won ($270,000).
If the sale goes through, it would outstrip KBS’s currently airing “Descendants of the Sun,” which was sold to China for $250,000.
On the same day, a “Saimdang” representative clarified that they were still in negotiations. “It’s true that we’re in negotiations for 315 million won, but nothing is decided yet,” they said. “The price could go down over time.”
The high prices are reported to be due to the appearance of original Hallyu star Lee Young Ae and actor Song Seung Heon, who is well loved in China. The broadcasting rights for “Saimdang” have already been sold to Japan, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia. As a result, Lee Young Ae and director Yoon Sang Ho decided to record the narration of the drama in these languages.
The current record for most expensive Chinese broadcasting rights goes to SBS’s “Pinocchio,” which sold for $280,000.
“Saimdang” is to be 100% pre-produced and will air either in the later half of the year or early next year.