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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Korean Twisted Mass Media, Part V: Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) - Running Man, everyone?

SBS Main Office at Mokdong, Seoul Yangcheon-gu
Seoul Broadcasting System (Hangul/Romanization: 에스비에스 or 서울방송/SBS or Seoul Bangsong; Korea Exchange Stock Code: 034120) is a national South Korean television and radio network. It is the only private commercial broadcaster with wide regional network affiliates to operate in the country. In March 2000, the company legally became known as SBS, changing its corporate name from Seoul Broadcasting System (서울방송시스템/Seoul Bangsong System). It has provided terrestrial digital TV service in the ATSC format since 2001, and T-DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) service since 2005. Its flagship terrestrial television station is Channel 6 for Digital and Cable.

SBS was launched and formed on the day MBC celebrated its 30th Anniversary on October 9, 1991. SBS is the second commercial broadcaster in South Korea after MBC. The purpose was to become an attractive and alternative channel to the audience that before 1990 was mastered by MBC. In 1980s, MBC was a mouthpiece of KBS to broadcast sporting events like the 1986 FIFA World Cup. After the democratic reform in 1987, as well as the separation of MBC from KBS, the government allowed the creation of a second commercial station in Seoul on November 14, 1990. SBS began trial transmissions on its television and radio channels on December 1, 1990 in Seoul. On March 20, 1991, the first regular SBS Radio broadcasts was launched on AM 792kHz, marking the start of SBS.

On December 9, 1991, SBS TV started broadcasting at 10:00am in Seoul, which was designated as the "The Day of Birth of SBS". Initially, SBS only broadcast terrestrially in Seoul and its surrounding areas. On October 9, 1992, the government began accepting applications for private broadcasting stations in other regions of the country. SBS had planned for a television and radio broadcast affiliate network that aims to air SBS' programs in other new regional channels before its 5th anniversary. In 1994, the private channels KNN (Korea New Network) in Busan, TJB (TaeJon Broadcast) in Daejeon, TBC (Taegu Broadcasting Corporation) in Daegu, and kbc (Kwangju Broadcasting Corporation) in Gwangju were created after government approval. On May 14, 1995, SBS successfully launched its national television network with its new local affiliates, KNN, TJB, TBC, and kbc. SBS had managed a network that airs SBS programs in other regional channels while local stations created local programming to suit the local residents needs.

In 1996, plans for a FM radio station to complement the existing AM station became realized. On November 14, 1996, SBS Power FM began broadcasting on 107.7 MHz as a music-centric station. On January 4, 1999, the original SBS Radio on AM 792 kHz began broadcasting on FM as well. The station rebranded as SBS Love FM on 103.5 MHz, simultaneously airing on both AM and FM frequencies. High-definition digital television was introduced in 2001. Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) was introduced in 2005.

SBS introduced its current logo on November 14, 2000 after its 10th anniversary celebrations to ensure the overall coherence of the current identity. SBS' logo has three embryos placed in a circle of the model where three colors are used to represent the symbol of human-centered, cultural and creative, future-oriented management philosophy, showing that the 'life' and 'the seeds of civilization' has centered on the theme of SBS. SBS' branding is used in all sectors such as vehicle, microphone, envelopes, business cards, memorabilia, helicopter, signs, ganpanryu, seosikryu, uniforms, program title, etc. SBS also had used the slogan "Humanism thru Digital" until January 2010 where a new slogan is currently used. Gomi is the mascot of SBS-oriented as the new face of 'Humanism thru Digital' through the harmony of nature and human life where green environment is important. The new slogan introudced in 2010 is "See the Bright Tomorrow". On October 29, 2012, SBS TV became South Korea's second channel to go 24/7.

SBS Prism Tower at Digital Media City, Seoul Mapo-gu - Home of Inkigayo
SBS dramas have been part of the "Korean wave", exported to many countries across the world. Sandglass has one of the highest viewership ratings in South Korea, and is considered the breakout drama for the network. Other dramas that have enjoyed high viewership include Lovers in Paris, Trap of Youth, Brilliant Legacy, Rustic Period, and Temptation of a Wife. 

SBS airs a variety of entertainment programs ranging from informational, comedy, music, reality, talk shows, and auditions. Many programs are popular throughout Asia, including X-Man, Family Outing, Running Man, The Music Trend, and many more. SBS documentaries encompass a wide range of issues, from foreign affairs to the environment. The Its Know premiered in 1992, and has since earned notoriety for its investigations from a journalistic standpoint. 

SBS also broke tradition by creating its flagship newscast SBS Eight O'Clock News, airing at 20:00 instead of 21:00, giving itself the slogan "News an hour earlier". It also produces news-analysis programs such as Morning Wide, Nightline, SBS Current Affairs Debate, Curious Stories Y, and In Depth 21 covering the political, economic, social and cultural issues of the days.

SBS Tanhyeon Production Center at Goyang IlsanSeo-gu, Gyeonggi Province, Headquarters of SBS Artech - SeeU's birthplace
We want to watch SBS but we live outside Sudogwon-Gijeon Region. Which channels we suppose to tune to SBS outside the capital area?
  • KNN (Korea New Network) - Coverage: Busan Metropole and Southern Gyeongsang
  • TBC (Taegu Broadcasting Corporation) - Coverage: Daegu Metropole, Northern Gyeongsang
  • kbc (Kwangju Broadcasting Corporation) - Coverage: Gwangju Metropole, Southern Jeolla
  • TJB (Taejon Broadcasting Corporation) - Coverage: Daejeon Metropole, Sejong City, Southern Chungcheong
  • ubc (Ulsan Broadcasting Corporation) - Coverage: Ulsan Metropole
  • JTV (Jeonju Television) - Coverage: Northern Jeolla
  • CJB (Cheongju Broadcasting) - Coverage: Northern Chungcheong
  • G1 (Gangwon No.1 Broadcasting) - Coverage: Gangwon Province
  • JIBS  (Jeju Free International City Broadcasting System) - Coverage: Jeju Island