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||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Korean Wikipedia. (March 2013)|
|Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)
|Type||Broadcast radio and
|Slogan||Fulfilling the People's Devotion Through Broadcasting|
|Headquarters||Yeouido, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea|
|Owner||Government of South Korea|
|February 16, 1927 (radio)
October 1, 1961 (television)
March 3, 1973 "public broadcasting stations" status
2001 (Digital Television)
|Revised Romanization||Han-guk Bangsong Gongsa|
|McCune–Reischauer||Han'guk Pangsong Kongsa|
Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) (Korean: 한국 방송 공사, Hanguk Bangsong Gongsa) is a South Korean radio and television network, founded in 1927. It is the biggest out of the four major South Korean television networks.
KBS began as Kyeongseong Broadcasting Corporation (JODK, 경성방송국, 京城放送局) that was established by the Governor-General of Korea in Korea on February 16, 1927. This second radio station started using the call sign HLKA in 1947 after the Republic of Korea got the call sign HL of the International Telecommunication Union. After doing a national broadcast, the radio was renamed Seoul Central Broadcasting Station in 1948.
Television broadcasts in South Korea began on 12 May 1956 with the first television station HLKZ-TV. It was sold to KBS in 1961. KBS station status changed from government to public broadcasting station on March 3, 1973. Construction of KBS headquarters in Yeouido started in 1976. In 1979, KBS radio began broadcasting on the FM wave with the launch of KBS Stereo (Now KBS 1FM).
Differing from other public broadcasters in the world that do not accept advertising, apart from television fees, part of KBS revenue also comes from advertisers. KBS began accepting advertising in 1980 after the forced merger of some private commercial broadcasting stations like Tongyang Broadcasting Company (TBC), which some consider the forerunner of JTBC, and Dong-A Broadcasting System (DBS), the former body of Channel A, into KBS by the military government. Under the Chun Doo-hwan regime, South Korea's media policy had changed; the regime closed several private commercial radio and television stations and merged them with KBS. After the merger with Tongyang Broadcasting Company (TBC) and DBS, KBS changed the name of these channels to from DBS to KBS Radio 5 (now a defunct radio station. 792 kHz frequency now owned by Seoul Broadcasting System.) (AM) TBC-FM to KBS Radio 4 (Now KBS Cool FM) and television station TBC-TV to KBS 2TV in 1980 and created KBS 3TV and Educational FM in 1981.
On December 27, 1990, KBS 3TV and Educational FM split from KBS and changed its name to Educational Broadcasting System (EBS). After the revision of the television fee collection system in 1994, KBS 1TV no longer airs commercials.
KBS is a 'public organization' (공사, 公社) that, by law, receives public funding from the South Korean government but is independently managed. As mentioned on the South Korean Constitution, the president of KBS is recommended by its board of directors to the President of South Korea. Political parties in South Korea have the right to name members of the board of directors of KBS. Since the President of South Korea usually has leadership over the members of the ruling party, KBS's president is considered to be designated by the President of South Korea. This procedure has incurred worries of political intervention in KBS's governance and has led to many thinking that the current system of recruiting needs to be revised.
Around 37.8% of its revenue comes from a mandatory Television Licence Fee priced at 2,200 won, while 47.6% of the revenue comes from commercial advertisement sales. For national or governmental programs such as International Radio service (KBS World Radio) and the Radio service for physically handicapped people, KBS receives public funds from the South Korean government.
KBS 1TV and KBS 2TV phased out analogue services on December 31, 2012 as part of the switchover to digital television.
These six channels are carried by cable and satellite operators in South Korea. There are 100+ Cable operators in South Korea and Skylife is the sole satellite television service provider. These channels are managed and operated by KBS N, a subsidiary company of KBS.
KBS World is the international television and radio service of KBS. It officially launched on July 1, 2003. It is broadcast on a 24hr schedule with programs ranging from news, sports, television dramas, entertainment, and children's. KBS World television is broadcast locally and around the world. As of July 2007, around 65% of its programs are broadcast with English subtitles, it is available in 32 countries, and reportedly more than 40 million households around the world can access KBS World. It has two overseas subsidiaries: KBS America and KBS Japan. KBS Japan is independently operated by a KBS subsidiary in Japan, and most programs are provided with Japanese subtitles.
KBS World television is a television channel that runs mostly programs commissioned for KBS' 2 terrestrial networks: KBS1 and KBS2. KBS World television is distributed over several international communication and broadcasting satellites such as IS-19, IS-20, IS-21, Measat 3, Apstar 6 & 7, Eutelsat Hotbird 13A, Galaxy 11, 18 & 23, Badr 6, Vinasat 1, Palapa D, SES 7, Telkom 1, Thaicom 5, EchoStar 15, Anik F3. Local cable and/or satellite operators receive the signal from one of these satellite and carry the signal to end subscribers of their own networks. KBS doesn't allow individual viewer to receive the signal from IS-19, IS-20, IS-21, Measat 3, Asiasat 5, and Galaxy 18. The signal from Badr 6 is Free-to-Air service while viewers using Eutelsat Hotbird 13A are required to pay monthly subscription fee.
|ABC and SBS||Australia|
|TVRI and RCTI||Indonesia|
|NHK and TBS||Japan|
|NBC, ABC, CNN and Telemundo||United States|
KBS is one of Korea's oldest broadcasters, and as a result, has had a few controversies during this time, which has given them nicknames such as Soonkyu Bangsong and The Department of Last Resort.
During the Chun Doo-hwan regime of the eighties, the president passed a law to force several public broadcasters to merge with the public run KBS. After these broadcasters had shown news stories against Chun, he used this law to stifle their criticism of him. It included:
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) was also affected. MBC was originally a federation of 20 loosely affiliated member stations located in various parts of Korea. Although they shared much of their programming, each member station was privately owned. After the consolidation, however, each affiliate was forced to give up majority of their shares to the MBC based in Seoul, and MBC Seoul, in turn, was forced to give up majority of its shares to KBS.
KBS 2FM From 1980 until 2002 was prohibited to air commercial advertisements but in 2002 commercial advertisements resumed airing on KBS 2FM. The result KBS Local FM (a radio station owned by KBS used to re-transmit KBS 1FM and KBS 2FM) instead carried KBS 1FM programs even though KBS 2FM midnight (03:00~07:00 KST) programs like More Closer Radio, Fresh Morning and Good Morning Pops where aired due to that the three programs where prohibited to air advertisements excluding those of KOBACO (Korea Broadcast Advertising Corporation).
In January 16, 2010, a dispute broke out between KBS and the Korea Cable TV Association (KCTA) over retransmission fees. The KCTA sought to push down fees from major broadcasting channels like KBS for retransmitting their programs through cable. KBS had demanded 280 won per subscriber, while the cable TV system operators (or ‘SOs’) wanted no more than 100 won. Negotiations reached a standstill, and so the SOs decided to make KBS2 programs unavailable to viewers starting from 3:00 p.m. KST. The SOs stopped transmitting both standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) signals from the KBS2 channel. This meant that unless TV viewers had alternative viewing methods such as the Internet or terrestrial TV, they saw a blackout message. Having lost a substantial amount of their viewers, KBS2's programs experienced a major decline in their ratings. Following the blackout, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has ordered the SOs to resume transmission or face a hefty fine. The SOs initially refused, but on January 17, they agreed to resume KBS2 transmissions, ending the 28-hour blackout.
In 2011, Sohn Hak-kyu, the chairman of the opposition Democratic Party, accused KBS of wiretapping the party’s closed-door meeting on TV subscription charges.
Sohn said that “We believe the firm bugged the meeting to secure information about our party’s handling of the TV subscription policy. KBS should admit that it resorted to the deplorable method of gathering information.”
The ruling Grand National Party initially sought to put a bill concerning the TV subscription charge to a vote, but failed to do so amid strong opposition from the Democrats.
The National Assembly’s subcommittee on culture, tourism, broadcasting and communication, was scheduled to deliberate on June 28, 2011, but the meeting was cancelled due to the Democrats’ protest.
The scandal erupted on the 23rd of June when Han Sun-kyo, chairman of the parliamentary subcommittee, criticized the Democrats' opposition to increasing the TV subscription charge during a subcommittee meeting.
The GNP lawmakers eventually approved a bill raising the charge by 1,000 won to 3,500 won at a subcommittee meeting in the absence of Democrat lawmakers. That led to a Democrat boycott of a June extraordinary parliamentary session for half a day on June 21, 2011.
Bak Han-yong (박한용), head of the Institute for Research in Collaborationist Activities, criticized KBS for censoring negative remarks from a documentary about Chinilpa individuals and Rhee Syngman who had pardoned them. This includes the Chinilpa Paik Sun-yup.
KBS Music Bank (a music program on KBS2 ko:뮤직뱅크) was under fire when Big Bang made their comeback stage with "Tonight" in 2011, showing their blatant favoritism towards other singers. Fans were in rage of disappointment when they noticed the poor lighting on the stage, causing the members and the back-up dancers to not be seen clearly on the television and by the audience. Viewers also noticed that Big Bang had only had to perform their title track despite of being very popular and their two-year hiatus, while other artists and rookie groups performed two songs for their comeback stages. The rage was further intensified when fans claimed that Music Bank manipulated Big Bang's final score, receiving only 20,214, despite of being downloaded and streamed for almost 3.4 million times. The information was reported by Gaon, collecting data from major music charts of Korea, such as Mnet, Bugs, Melon, Soribada, and Dosirak.
KBS Music Bank also received a lot of negative criticisms for its allegedly unfair chart ranking system. It was revealed by an insider that entertainment companies were bulk-buying massive numbers of their artists' albums to achieve an "all-kill" status and reach the number one spot on the music program that even rookie groups can manage to win first place award, but Music Bank didn't do anything to stop the act. It was always believed that rookie groups normally don't have a huge fanbase, but Brave Girls managed to top digital music charts in Korea.
The journalists working for KBS (along with MBC, SBS and YTN) have protested against the biased journalism practices that favor the Lee Myung-bak government. The new union for KBS headed by Kim Hyeon-seok released a video clip Reset KBS News 9 (리셋 KBS 뉴스9) on the internet that discusses the Prime Minister's Office Civilian Surveillance Incident and the controversial money-spending on renovating President Lee Myung-bak's alleged birth house on March 13, 2012.
Global Youth League DN filed an injunction at Seoul Central District Court against broadcaster KBS for using the name "Lee Soon-shin" in the title of the drama. The injunction requested that the broadcast be halted immediately, that "Lee Soon-shin" is removed from the title and the character name changed. The group claimed that historical figure Lee Soon-shin (or Yi Sun-sin), an admiral famed for his victories against the Japanese Navy in the Imjin War during the Joseon Dynasty, is an official national symbol whose status will "deteriorate" when associated with the "weak and clumsy" protagonist that lead actress IU plays. KBS and production company A Story responded that they have no plans of changing the title or character name. Instead, they altered the original drama poster where several cast members are sitting on a pile of 100 won coins that have an image of Admiral Yi, by digitally replacing the coins with a plain gold platform.
In early May 2014, Gil Hwan-young removed the KBS news chief after alleged improper remarks over the sinking of the Sewol ferry. The chief then accused Gil of interference with news editing, with an alleged pro-government bias.
After the board postponed a decision on whether or not to dismiss Gil, two of the broadcaster's largest unions went on strike.
As a result of the boycott, most of the broadcaster's news output was affected. The hour-long KBS News 9 ran for just 20 minutes, and during local elections on June 4, 2014, KBS was unable to send reporters to interview candidates.
The strike ended after the board of directors voted to dismiss Gil. The board passed a motion on June 5, 2014 demanding the discharge of President Gil. The majority vote decision was sent to be approved by the country's president Park Geun-hye, who has the power to appoint the broadcaster's head.
KBS is also known for banning songs that "stimulates sex desire or are sexually explicit to youth", "urges violence or crime to youth", or "glamorizes violence such as rape, and drugs" which they classified as a "medium offensive to youth". They also ban songs that mentions brand names due to that KBS does not want to freely promote someone else's product. Because of this, they prevent them from playing them on its radio stations and broadcasting them on its television channels. Due to this songs like 4Minute’s “Come In”, San E's “Body Language”, Trouble Maker's “Now”, Stellar's Marionette, Son Gain's “Fxxk U" and “Truth or Dare", Tae Jin-ah's remake of “La Song", Yong Jun Hyung Ahn Hyo Jin and Oh Gwang Suk's “You Got Some Nerve”, G-Dragon's “One Of A Kind”, Sistar19's “Gone Not Around Any Longer”, 4Minute's “Is It Poppin'?”, B2ST’s “On Rainy Days” and “Shadow”, Baek Ji-young’s “I Can’t Drink”, Jay Park’s “Don’t Let Go”, After School’s “Funky Man, Heo Young-saeng’s “Out the Club”, X-5’s “Fantasy”, MBLAQ’s “Again”, DJ DOC’s “Joy and Pain”, SECRET’s Song Jieun’s “Going Crazy”, Kang Seung-yoon’s “You’re My Heaven”, 2PM's “Hand's Up”, Ivy's “Touch Me”, Lee Hyori's “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, T.O.P's “Turn It Up” and “Doom dada", Foxy's “Why Are You Doing This To Me”, TVXQ's “Mirotic”, Brown Eyed Girls's “Abracadabra”, Seungri's “Strong Baby”, Lee Jung-hyun's “Suspicious Man”, Yery Band's "Alice In Wonderland", Swings' "I'll Overcome", N-ZIN's "Crazy Woman", Sasquatch's "Paradox", Liquid's "Garosugil" along with 1,800 other songs are banned to be aired on KBS1 (the latter being the only commercial-free channel in Korea) and KBS2 on TV and KBS Radio 1, KBS Radio 2 (both being one of the four commercial-free radio stations in Korea) and KBS 2FM on radio. There are exceptions KBS Radio 3 and KBS Hanminjeok Radio are all-news and talk stations meaning they don't play music KBS 1FM is a classical music station meaning they don't play KPop music unlike KBS 2FM, due to this KBS Radio 3, KBS Hanminjeok Radio and KBS 1FM are not affected by the ban. KBS World TV and Radio is also excused because it is aired overseas but not aired in Korea.
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