Seoul: South Korea’s top two television broadcasters have raised the stakes in a merger bid that could drive the country’s biggest TV channel into the digital era.
The two broadcaster companies, Korea Broadcasting Corporation and YTN, are both expected to unveil a merger deal by the end of next month, but it is not clear what the deal would entail.YTN’s media unit is already a majority shareholder in the two broadcaster company, and its shares surged on Tuesday following the announcement.
“The merger of the two broadcasters into one will bring more growth to YTN’s operations and enhance the value of YTN and the Korean entertainment industry,” said YTN President Lee Yong-suk in a statement.
“The merger will also contribute to the growth of the Korean broadcasting industry.”
It was unclear whether the merger would lead to the sale of the broadcaster.
The two broadcasters will continue to operate independently and not have any official relationship with each other.
But the merger will increase the size of YTC, which has been steadily growing its share of the Korea broadcasting market.
YTN has a 20 percent share of Korea TV’s total audience.YTC has been growing faster than the rest of the industry and its audience has grown by 20 percent annually since 2007.
But the Korean TV industry is still not as diversified as other broadcasting markets, as many broadcasters rely on content from local broadcast networks.YTMV is the only other television network with a stake in the merged broadcaster.
It has been operating in the same market for more than a decade and has seen a massive expansion, reaching around 90 million subscribers.
YTMV’s content includes drama series, children’s programming, and movies.YTV has a 13 percent stake in YTN.
The company is expected to announce a merger with YTN in early February, according to a report by the Korea Communications Association.
The merger could also be a way for YTN to retain its presence in South Korea and boost its international reach.
The broadcaster’s market share has been rising as its audience grows.
In 2014, for example, YTN had a market share of around 7 percent, compared to around 5 percent for other TV channels.
In 2018, YTMVs audience grew by 20.6 percent compared to 9.6 for other broadcasters, according an estimate by YTN itself.BY SARAH KIM [[email protected]]