South Korean TV network to debut on Oceanic cable
Oceanic Time Warner will begin airing KBS America next Friday
Programming from the largest television network in South Korea, KBS, soon will be carried by Time Warner Cable, and Hawaii viewers will be the system's first to see it.
Beginning next Friday, Oceanic Time Warner Cable will include KBS America, KBS' 24-hour programming network, as part of its basic digital package on Channel 91. Its programming also will be available on Time Warner's video-on-demand option.
KBS America CEO Kevin Kwon said the Time Warner deal was the network's first with a large cable operator.
Jeff Chung, general manager of Hawaii Korean programming carrier KBFD, said his station is also representing KBS America in Hawaii. "They may be some overlap of programming," he said, "but at this moment, I don't know how much, since I haven't seen their schedule list yet."
According to Chung, the two corporate entities share a long history, since KBFD has been partnered with KBS since the local station's first broadcasting day in 1976.
"KBFD carries a lot of KBS programming, and the two stations will definitely complement each other. I'm thrilled that local viewers will have more options in Korean programming," he said.
Programming consists of the network's most popular shows -- with currently about 40 percent of it provided with English subtitles -- including the always-popular serial dramas, plus news, entertainment, sports and documentaries.
Richard Millet, vice president of business development at KBS America offices in Los Angeles, said that Oceanic Time Warner Cable has been wanting to carry KBS America for some time. As for expanding the use of English subtitles, he said, "we're shooting for 100 percent (coverage) by year's end."
KBS America was established in August 2004 as the Korean network's U.S. division and is available on other cable systems in New York, parts of New Jersey, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Atlanta. It's also carried on the Dish Network service. KBS, founded in 1947, is South Korea's only public broadcaster.