TV Stations Feel Economic Crunch

November 5, 2008 at 11:16 am | Posted in Television | Leave a comment

The global recession has reached TV stations in Korea. Advertisement revenues have fallen drastically for three major networks in Korea, compelling them to cut back on program productions and staff.

The first round of downsizing was carried out on the drama department. Once a cash cow, TV dramas have now turned into a money pit, prompting TV stations to cut down on the number of dramas from the program lineup. KBS will no longer run a daily TV series after “The Return of Ddukbaegi” wraps up this fall. SBS will suspend its Friday night drama for a while and MBC one of its weekend dramas.

TV stars will get paid less as well. During their heyday, a TV star would get about 170 thousand dollars for a program and a top show host would net about 9 thousand dollars per episode. But such exorbitant fee has weighed heavily on the network budget and three major networks have banded together to lower the TV appearance rates.

The presidents of three networks have sent company-wide letters asking employees to understand the current predicament and support company decisions. The dramatic fall in ad revenues have eaten into the fourth quarter profit as much as 45 million dollars.



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