Korea Communications Commission chairman Lee Kyeong-jae (Yonhap News)
Korea Communications Commission chairman Lee Kyeong-jae confirmed that the organization agrees with the license fee hike submitted by the Korea Broadcasting System, the nation’s largest television network.
He said at a press event on Monday that the “KCC has reviewed the plan financially and legally. Though the increase may not get a good response from the public in the beginning, the plan as a whole makes sense. With continuous discussions, I believe the public will also understand this.”
He added that the board members would discuss the plan on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Last Tuesday, Lee first stated he sided with KBS’ plan to increase license fees, and the KCC planned to get rid of commercials on KBS by 2018. It was the first official remark by the head of communications organization.
Airing commercials will likely lead to bizarre or violent programs and affect TV content, he said at the seminar.
“We are aiming to gradually reduce advertisements on KBS and ultimately eliminate them all.”
KBS recently submitted the plan to the KCC, in which it will increase its license fee from the current 2,500 won ($2.35) to 4,000 won and reduce the annual commercial cost of 600 billion won to 210 billion won. KCC plans to send the proposal to the National Assembly this month.
“The earnings from license fees have been frozen for 33 years, and commercial sales have continually dropped. The increase is necessary to secure media fairness and finances for shifting to digital media,” KBS said.
The chairman also commented at the press event on continued illegal subsidy practices despite the heavy fine of 100 billion won on three telecom operators.
“We have kept an eye on the practice but the recent cases do not seem serious. The issues can rather be backing for the revision to the Communications Law which is expected to pass the National Assembly this February.”
Kim Choong-seek, vice chairperson of the KCC, also said, “The revision will certainly be passed despite the sole opposition of Samsung Electronics. It is a trend that most parties, including the office of the president, telecom operators and the national assembly can agree on.”
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com