KBS1 is South Korea's public television network. Its programming is generalist with a strong focus on highbrow and Korean-oriented programming, ranging from news and current affairs, cultural programming, sports coverage, entertainment series, drama, talkshows and children's programming.

KBS 1 logo.svg
CountrySouth Korea
NetworkKorean Broadcasting System
Picture format2160p UHDTV
(downgraded to 1080i and letterboxed 480i for the HDTV and SDTV feeds respectively)
OwnerKorean Broadcasting System
Sister channelsKBS2
KBS World
Launched31 December 1961; 60 years ago (1961-12-31)
ReplacedHLKZ-TV (Daehan Bangsong) (1956-1961)
Former namesKBS-TV (1961-1980)
UHFChannel 29 (Korean Demilitarised Zone)
Digital terrestrial televisionSeoul:
Channel 9.1
Available on every South Korean providerChannel slots vary on each operator
SkyLifeChannel 209 (SD)
Channel 9 (HD)
B TVChannel 9 (HD)
U+ TVChannel 9 (HD)
Olleh TVChannel 9 (HD)
Streaming media
KBS OfficialWatch Live


KBS TV began broadcasting on 31 December 1961, as South Korea's first full-scale television station. Regular broadcasts commenced on 15 January the following year.

KBS1 was once known for being one of the first commercial TV stations in South Korea. But in 1963, the South Korean government through its parliament, introduced the Television License Fee system. Advertisements on KBS1 were abolished in 1994.

The monopoly was broken in 1965 when TBC began broadcasting. In December 1980, following KBS's acquisition of various private broadcasters, including the forced merger with TBC, it became known as KBS1.

KBS 1TV began 24-hour broadcasting on 8 October 2012, the first channel in South Korea to do so, in line with the digital switchover and following the lifting the ban of broadcasting into the early hours of the morning on terrestrial television. Even though KBS1 is 24 hours, they continue closing down on Sunday and Monday nights, due to technical maintenance. As of 2018, KBS1 is the only channel to maintain its late night offerings after its rival stations MBC TV and SBS TV discontinued their 24-hour offerings and resumed closing down on a nightly basis in 2017.


In contrast to its sister channel KBS2, which focuses on entertainment, TV series, movies and sports, KBS 1TV is the home of predominantly the news, current affairs, cultural and documentary programming being produced by KBS, as well as primetime drama miniseries and weekend historical and literature series. It also acts as the principal channel for breaking news or live events of national and international significance. It also airs musical shows, children's programming, more regional programming and selected sports coverage if KBS2 is unable to broadcast them live. All KBS 2TV dramas are also shown on this channel as reruns, notably the Monday/Tuesday dramas & Wednesday/Thursday dramas.[citation needed]

KBS 1TV has musical variety shows, but unlike its sister channel, KBS 2TV and most commercial stations which air it on a live basis, most KBS 1TV musical shows are either recorded or broadcast live on special occasions. The only live music program shown on this channel is the National Singing Contest (also known as Korea Sings), a talent show currently shown since 1980.


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