The 2012 Korea TV Content Showcase took place today, and was an event which aimed to promote Korea’s TV programs in the UK, and to support their export. This event was hosted by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) and organised by the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA). It featured Korean TV content showings from KBS, MBC, SBS, EBS, CJ E&M, Arirang, YTN and CU Media. This was a great opportunity for people in the UK broadcasting world to be introduced to some of the amazing news, dramas and documentaries that South Korea is producing.
After arriving at the venue, where we were all greeted enthusiastically and warmly, we soon sat down and were welcomed by the KCC. The official languages of the showcase were English and Korean, and using both these languages really helped create a sense of unity between the two countries. The announcer who spoke in Korean was also wearing a beautiful hanbok, which was a lovely way to show some traditional Korean culture at the showcase. There was also a speech by KCC representative Song Chang Young. He talked about how this is a special year for the UK, as we have the Olympics and have had the Jubilee, and that now is a time when the globe is becoming increasingly united. He said that the ties between South Korea and the UK have always been strong, and that he hoped connections between the two countries could be strengthened further in the world of broadcasting. Song Chang Young said the showcase was an opportunity to not only show Korean content, but to let everyone have a taste of Korean culture.
After the introduction, it was time for the Korean TV content to be shown. This content showing was done through one long film which was split into segments, where each broadcasting station had a section to promote their own programs.
KBS showed clips of dramas The Slave Hunters, Iris, Dream High 2, documentaries Super Fish, Noodle Road and clips of a series of programs where literature was turned into drama. This was a good selection of dramas and documentaries, highlighting that they not only had epic saeguks, but modern and factual programming too. The only thing that could have been notably improved was the Dream High 2 trailer. The trailer made the drama look super cheesy as it only took scenes from jokey bits. As this drama was so popular and has the possibility to appeal to many young people, it could have been edited in a way that would appeal to the UK broadcasters that came to the showcase.
MBC showed clips from the dramas The King 2 Hearts, I do, I do, Warrior K, Banquet of the Gods, Light and Shadow, 1000 Kisses, The Moon Embracing the Sun, and soap Can’t Live Without You. The thing we noticed that was although the other dramas got a good length of time for their trailers, The Moon Embracing the Sun, which has been very successful and popular, only got a very short trailer. This drama needed a bit longer on screen to show the UK broadcasters how good it is. However, MBC’s presentation was still impressive and gave a nice overview of some of the dramas and other programs that they’ve got.
Whereas the previous two broadcasters had used English narration and text when promoting their TV programs, SBS didn’t use any. They showed trailers of dramas Ghost, Scent of a Woman, Chaser and Athena, and documentary The Last Tundra. The trailers for Athena andChaser were especially dramatic and looked amazing. Although in a booklet given out before the presentation there was a short blurb in English about each program that was shown, it would have been handy for a brief bit of text in English or English narration to give a sense of what the drama was about on screen, as the name of the drama could have easily been missed by those with no knowledge of Korean. However, SBS’ segment was edited very well and it made their dramas look very high octane and explosive.
EBS focuses on educational programming, and they sampled a variety of very interesting documentaries in their bit. These included History of Life, Math and the Rise of Civilisations, and Angkor: the Land of the Gods. Although the title Math and the Rise of Civilisations may not sound very grabbing, this actually looked like a very interesting documentary, and we can see this fitting in well with the style of documentaries we have in the UK. EBS also showed a clip of kids program Opps! I-Kooo. This looked like a really fun kids program, and we’re tempted to watch it ourselves! We noted quite a few people scribbling down notes during the trailer for this – surprise hit of the day?!
CJ E&M’s presentation was really slick. The editing, clips used, direction – everything – looked really good. It was clear and to the point and we’d say this was one of the best broadcasting segments of the day. Instead of showing one drama clip at a time etc, they mixed up lots of programs at once on the screen, showing what a big array of TV formatting they have. We saw bits of Mnet and other Kpop/showbiz shows shown, as well as various documentaries and dramas. There was also a longer trailer of something called X-Boyfriend, which looked like a Korean version of Cheaters, but the couples were already split. We would all watch this program in a heartbeat and the audience watching the presentation were also laughing. This would be prime Saturday night viewing!
Arirang is well known for their programs which focus on the culture and history of Korea. This was reflected in their section which included short parts from documentaries Last Mermaids,Korea Confidential with Paul Schenk, Tasty Trail with Benjamin and the Kpop focused news show Pops in Seoul. These documentaries looked really good, especially the ones focused on food (or were we just hungry while watching this presentation?!). It would be nice to see some Ariring programs on British TV, so the UK public can learn more about Korean culture.
CU Media has a wide range of TV shows, which they sampled in their presentation. Showing trailers of Star News, Gourmet Road, The Pretty Boys and Girls, Pet Story and The Beauty’s Taming The Idol Stars showed their diverse programming. We have to say, if we hadStar News on our TV, we would be trying to watch it all day!
Last up was YTN. This is news orientated broadcasting company, which looks mainly at topical subjects and keeping the viewer up to date with helpful news and information, as well as what’s going on in the headlines. YTN showed how it could broadcast news real time, so all events and eventualities could be covered to a high standard of news casting.
The presentations were all impressive and it was clear all the UK TV folk were having a good time learning about the Korean companies. It will be interesting to find out which were the most popular broadcasting stations for the UK clients who came, and which programs they thought could work on UK TV. We can imagine that the documentaries would be quite popular as documentaries are universal in popularity and appeal to a wide range of audiences. We personally hope that some Kdramas will be picked up as we’d love to see them on our TV, but realistically, we’re not sure how well subtitled dramas would do on British TV. Which is a shame as Korean dramas can be really amazing and the plots would be really popular with a wide range of people in Britain.
What would you have chosen to show at the showcase if you were working for MBC, KBS or SBS etc? Which dramas do you think would have been best to show to the UK market if you were hoping they’d want to buy some?
After the content showing, it was time for a lunch. Looking around, think we loaded up our plates a bit more than other people around us, but the food was so nice, we couldn’t resist! While filling our bellies, we had a chance to talk to some of the other people who’d been invited. It was really interesting seeing the array of people who’d come and what programs they’d found most interesting. People we talked to were surprised at how popular Korean culture had become in such a short time. That’s the Hallyu Wave for you! Long may it go on for!
The last part of the day was business meetings. As we couldn’t pick up any of the programs to air ourselves (we wish we could!) we took this as a chance to talk to some of the representatives from the different Korean broadcasting companies. They were all so friendly, and it was fun speaking with them. There were also loads of chances to grab some posters, leaflets and pick up sample subbed drama DVDs! That’s our evening sorted out!
It was a very fun day and a great opportunity to see how South Korea and the UK have continuing close ties with one another. We’re really glad we could attend, and would like to thank Joy for inviting us and the LoKos for alerting us to this event. We really hope that some of the people who came today can pick up some of the programs – we need some Kdrama on our TVs!
Hopefully the UK and South Korea can continue to build connections with each other, and if we can start to broadcast Korean programs on British TV, this will be a great step to a brilliant future between our two countries.