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SK and LG Dacom to launch broadcast IPTV

December 12, 2008 - South Korean IPTV operators SK Broadband and LG Dacom will commercially launch broadcast channels on their IPTV services on January 1st of next year, according to local public broadcaster KBS, after completing agreements with terrestrial broadcasters KBS2 and SBS to carry their channels and anticipating a conclusion to similar negotiations with broadcaster MBC. SK Broadband will charge its IPTV customers KRW 14,500 (US$ 10.52) per month for access to the linear channels on its IPTV service 'Broad&TV', according to reports in local newspaper The Korea Times, and will initially offer 30 standard-definition and ten high-definition channels. Rival IPTV operator LG Dacom meanwhile will charge KRW 14,000 per month for access to broadcast channels on its IPTV service 'myLGtv'. "This opens a new era for the country in broadcasting and telecommunications, which will bring a revolutionary impact in everyday life and introduce interactive multimedia services that will empower viewers,'' said Lee Myung-bak, President of South Korea, in a keynote speech delivered at a ceremony in the COEX convention centre, Seoul. "Over the past decade, the country's broadcasting sector had been slow to accept the industrial potential of media, and we now must make that step forward. We need to use IPTV as a platform to emerge as a leading nation in broadcasting and communications, which will also be critical in creating more jobs and advancing technologies." Korea Telecom (KT) meanwhile commercially launched broadcast channels on its IPTV service 'Mega TV' last November . KT is also planning to launch a premium service next June, according to The Korea Times, providing 80 channels (compared to the current 33) for KRW 23,000 per month. SK Broadband currently has around 760,000 subscribers for its IPTV service, while KT had 808,101 subscribers for Mega TV as of the end of the third quarter of this year, and LG Dacom has set itself a target of 300,000 IPTV subscribers by the end of this year. Both SK Broadband and KT recently ordered new video headends from TANDBERG Television to enable the delivery of linear channels on their IPTV services.

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