Open Access Articles- Top Results for Korean Broadcasting System

Korean Broadcasting System

Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)
Type Broadcast radio and
Country South Korea
Availability National
Slogan Fulfilling the People's Devotion Through Broadcasting
Headquarters Yeouido, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Owner Government of South Korea
Launch date
February 16, 1927 (radio)
October 1, 1961 (television)
March 3, 1973 "public broadcasting stations" status
2001 (Digital Television)
Picture format
1080i (HDTV)
Official website

Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) (Korean: 한국 방송 공사, Hanguk Bangsong Gongsa) is the national broadcaster of South Korea. It was founded in 1927, and operates radio, television and online services, being one of the biggest South Korean television networks.

Korean name
Hanja 韓國放送公社
Revised Romanization Han-guk Bangsong Gongsa
McCune–Reischauer Han'guk Pangsong Kongsa


Beginnings in radio

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.

1950s–1960s - Move into television

Television broadcasts in South Korea began on 12 May 1956 with the first television station HLKZ-TV. It was sold to KBS in 1961.

1970s - Expansion

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).

1980s - Advertising starts after controversial merger

KBS began accepting advertising in 1980, differing from the norm of advert-free broadcasting by public broadcasters, after the forced merger of several private broadcasters into KBS by the military government of Chun Doo-hwan, (see Controversies).

1990s - Spinoff of EBS

In 1981, KBS launched KBS 3TV and Educational FM in 1981, and on December 27, 1990, the channels split from KBS to form the Educational Broadcasting System (EBS).

After a revision of the television licensing fee system in 1994, KBS1 stopped broadcasting commercials.


File:Korean Broadcasting System Changwon.jpg
KBS regional broadcasting station in Changwon

KBS is a public corporation (공사, 公社) funded by the South Korean government and license fees, but managed independently. As part of the Constitution, the president of KBS is chosen by the President of South Korea, after being recommended by its board of directors. Political parties in South Korea also have the right to name members of the KBS board of directors.

Because of this system, which gives politicians effective control over choosing the president of KBS, as well as its board of directors, people who are critical of the system cite political intervention in KBS's governance as reason for revising the current system of recruiting .

Around 37.8% of KBS' revenue comes from a mandatory television licence fee of 2,200 won, with another 47.6% coming from commercial advertisement sales.[1]

KBS' international output such as KBS World, as well as specialised services such as KBS Radio 3 for the disabled, receive public funding from the South Korean government.


Terrestrial television

  • KBS1 - KBS' flagship channel, it broadcasts news and current affairs, education, sports and culture. It launched in 1961 as HLKA-TV and is solely funded by the license fee, airing commercial-free. It is available nationally on channel 9, broadcasting via digital terrestrial television. KBS1 also airs public information films and minor entertainment programming, but the majority of which is on KBS2.[2]
  • KBS2 - KBS' entertainment and drama channel, it was launched in 1980 as a replacement for the Tongyang Broadcasting Corporation, which was controversially merged with KBS. It is available on digital channel 7 via digital terrestrial television.[2]
  • KBS UHD - The Ultra High Definition channel. Airs music videos and re-runs of dramas. It is on national terrestrial digital channel 66.[3]

KBS1 and KBS2 phased out analogue services on December 31, 2012 as part of the switchover to digital television.

Cable and satellite television

  • KBS Prime - A culture and drama channel, launched in 1995 as KBS Satellite 2. It was renamed as KBS Korea in 2002, before becoming Prime.
  • KBS Drama - formerly KBS Sky Drama, it was launched in 2002.
  • KBS N Sports - formerly KBS Sports/KBS Sky Sports, it was also launched in 2002.
  • KBS Joy - a comedy and quiz show channel that was launched in 2006.
  • KBS Kids - the children's channel, launched in 2012.[4]
  • KBS W - a channel aimed at a female audience, launched in 2013.[5]

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 Radio 1 (711 kHz AM/97.3 MHz FM KBS Radio Seoul) - news, current affairs, drama, documentary and culture. Launched in 1927 as Kyeongseong Broadcasting Corporation JODK and it became KBS Radio 1 in 1965.[6]
  • KBS Radio 2 (603 kHz AM/106.1 MHz FM KBS Happy FM) - entertainment radio for the middle aged. Launched in 1948 as HLSA.[6]
  • KBS Radio 3 (1134 kHz AM/104.9 MHz FM KBS Voice of Love FM) - Launched in 1980, and ceased broadcasting in 1981. It was later replaced by KBS Radio 2's regional radio service and Educational FM (now EBS FM). Later re-launched in 2000 as a spin-off from KBS Radio 2. For the first time in 2010, it was launched on FM and restructured as a radio station for the disabled.[6]
  • KBS 1FM (93.1 MHz Classic FM) - classical music and folkmusic. Launched in 1979 as KBS Stereo, adopted current name in 1980.[6]
  • KBS 2FM (89.1 MHz/DMB CH 12B Cool FM) - popular music. Launched in 1966 as RSB (Radio Seoul Broadcasting), renamed as TBC-FM in the 1970s, adopted current name in 1980 after TBC-FM forced merged to KBS.[6]
  • KBS Hanminjok Radio(Literal meaning:KBS Korean Nationality Radio) (6015 MHz Shortwave) (shortwave & mediumwave) - Launched in 1975 as KBS Third Programme.[6]
  • KBS World Radio - the South Korean international radio service, funded directly by the Government.[6]




  • 이 중앙방송 입니다. (This is Central Broadcasting. Slogan until early 60's)
  • 국민의방송 KBS. (National Broadcaster KBS. Slogan from early 60's til present)
  • KBS KBS KBS 한국방송 (KBS, KBS, KBS, Korean Broadcasting. A jingle frequently used on 2TV until 2014)

KBS World

Main article: KBS World

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[citation needed]. 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.

Foreign partners

Partner Country
Telefe Argentina
ABC and SBS Australia
VRT Belgium
SBT Brazil
CBC Canada
TVN Chile
CCTV China
Caracol TV Colombia
Ecuavisa Ecuador
ARD Germany
TVB Hong Kong
TVRI and NET. Indonesia
RAI Italy
NHK and TBS Japan
TV3 Malaysia
Televisa Mexico
NPO Netherlands
TVNZ New Zealand
Panamericana Televisión Peru
TVP Poland
RTP Portugal
VGTRK and Channel One Russia Russia
MediaCorp Singapore
SVT Sweden
TVE Spain
CTV and TTV Taiwan
NBT Thailand
BBC United Kingdom
ABC, and CBS United States
TVes Venezuela
VTV Vietnam


KBS being one of Korea's oldest broadcasters, also had controversies like SBS and MBC, but has more controversies than the two broadcasters, which has given them nicknames such as Soonkyu Bangsong and The Department of Last Resort.

1980 - Forced merger of KBS with private broadcasters

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.[7]


  • TBC television became KBS 2TV, and TBC radio became KBS Radio 4.
  • DBS became the now defunct KBS Radio 5. The frequency is now used by SBS Love FM.
  • SBC became KBS Gunsan,[8] now known as KBS Radio 3 Jeonju.
  • VOC became KBS Radio 3 Gwangju
  • Hanguk-FM became KBS-Daegu-FM.

In 2009, the president Lee Myung-bak said that the law was unconstitutional, and in 2011 TBC was revived as JTBC.

2002 - KBS 2FM advertisement scandal

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).

2010 - KBS2 blackout

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.[9]

2011 - Wiretapping scandal at TV license fee meeting

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.[10]

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 June 23 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.

2011 - Praising Chinilpa

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.[11] This includes the Chinilpa Paik Sun-yup.[12]

2012 - KBS journalists strikes and Reset KBS News 9

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.[13][14][15] 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.[16]

2013 - Lee Soon-shin naming scandal

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.[17][18][19][20] 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.[21][22]

2014 - KBS strike against pro-government bias of its president

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.[23][24][25]

See also


  1. ^ KBS Annual Report 2006-2007, KBS, 2007.(As mentioned on page 30)
  2. ^ a b "Channel Info". KBS English. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Broadcasting Tests Begin for Ultra High Definition". KBS English. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "KBS Launches Children's Channel". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. 2012-05-29. 
  5. ^ "Korea debuts cable channel dedicated to women". Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Channel Info". KBS English. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Media Strike in Korea". Ask a Korean!. June 12, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  8. ^ Park, In-Kyu (2005). "Public service broadcasting in the market place: the BBC and KBS in the 1990s." (PDF). 
  9. ^ "Cable TV operators end 28-hour KBS blackout". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  10. ^ DP leader hits KBS for alleged wiretapping. The Korea Times Retrieved on 2014-04-09.
  11. ^ Cho (조), Hyeon-ho (현호) (2011-06-07). "KBS는 정권재창출 위한 독재자·친일파 방송". MediaToday (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-06-23. 
  12. ^ Cho (조), Hyeon-ho (현호) (2011-06-25). "KBS 친일파를 영웅으로···시청자 '경악' "친일방송축하"". MediaToday (in Korean). Retrieved 2011-07-13. 
  13. ^ "SKorea journalists protest alleged pro-gov't bias". Associated Press. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  14. ^ "Massive Media Strike in South Korea". Sampsonia Way. 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  15. ^ "Special Show to Celebrate the Retirement of Parachute Executives". WORLDYAN NEWS. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2014-04-09. 
  16. ^ Cho (조), Hyeon-ho (현호) (2012-03-14). 이명박 태어나지도 않은 생가에 혈세 펑펑. MediaToday (in Korean). Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  17. ^ Kim, Tong-hyung (12 March 2013). "Group protests IU's TV drama". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  18. ^ Kim, Ji-yeon (12 March 2013). "Korean drama sued over title". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  19. ^ Lee, Sun-min (12 March 2013). "Group protests Lee Soon Shin drama". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  20. ^ Choi, Eun-hwa (12 March 2013). "You′re the Best Lee Soon Shin Gets KBS Involved in Another Title Controversy". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  21. ^ '최고다이순신' 동전포스터, 어떻게 바뀌었나?. TV Report (in Korean). 18 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  22. ^ Lee, Sun-min (19 March 2013). "After outcry, KBS alters drama poster". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2013-03-19. 
  23. ^ KBS unions on strike demanding CEO's resignation. NHK Retrieved on 2014-04-09.
  24. ^ Boycott at KBS leads to shortening of programs. NHK Retrieved on 2014-04-09.
  25. ^ KBS board OKs dismissal of chief. NHK Retrieved on 2014-04-09.

External links

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