Thursday, November 29, 2007

Korea's Satellite Mobile TV Calls for Help

The world's only satellite-based mobile broadcast TV service is in deep trouble. According to an article in the Korea Times, TU Media which operates the S-DMB service in Korea has accumulated a debt that will reach 270 Billion Won (about $270M) by the end of this year. There are 1.2M subscribers to the service, but their number hasn't grown since this summer.

One of the main obstacles for the service is regulation: The S-DMB service is not allowed to broadcast the main Korean terrestrial broadcast channels KBS, MBC, SBS and EBS. TU Media's request from the government to ease these regulatory restrictions has been unanswered, and their plea for additional funding from SKT, TU Media's largest shareholder, has also been declined. According to the Korea Times, there are reports that SKT may even withdraw from the S-DMB business in the near future.

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