The South Korean government is planning to deregulate the domestic pay TV industry so that mergers and acquisitions among cable TV, satellite broadcasting and IPTV service providers can lead to the enhancement of their competitiveness in the global market.
In response to the policy of the government, the cable TV industry is going to complete analog-to-digital TV conversion by February 2018 so that the local media market can become fully digital by that month.
The Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning announced on December 27 that it would apply the same regulation to the entire local pay TV industry and unify the business licenses of cable TV, satellite broadcasting and IPTV service providers.
It added that the 33% shareholding limit would be repealed that has been applied to satellite broadcasting companies taking part in cable TV companies. This means that a satellite broadcasting service provider can be merged with an IPTV service provider to become a media giant and a cable TV service provider can acquire those types of companies.
The purpose of these changes is to be in step with the global trend of the media market, that is, the entire market being led by a small number of giant companies. The ministry also explained that nationwide cable TV services would replace local services in 2018.