Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC; Korean: 주식회사문화방송; Hanja: 株式會社文化放送; RR: Jusikhoesa Munhwa Bangsong; lit. "Cultural Broadcasting Corporation") is one of the leading South Korean television and radio network companies. Munhwa is the Sino-Korean word for "culture". Its flagship terrestrial television station MBC TV is Channel 11 (LCN) for Digital.
|Revised Romanization||Jusikhoesa Munhwa Bangsong|
|McCune–Reischauer||Chushikhoesa Munhwa Pangsong|
|Industry||Broadcast radio and television|
|Founded||21 February 1961|
|Headquarters||267, Sangam-dong, Mapo District, Seoul, South Korea|
Number of locations
|9 cities (Tokyo, Beijing, Bangkok, Paris, London, Los Angeles, Washington, and New York) (2015)|
|Park Sung-jae CEO & President, 2020-present|
|Revenue||1,500,941,912,398 won (2015)|
|59,272,035,738 won (2015)|
|82,403,520,805 won (2015)|
|Total assets||2,557,227,645,206 won (December 2015)|
|Total equity||1,000,000,000 won (December 2015)|
Number of employees
|1,712 (December 2015)|
Established on 2 December 1961, MBC is a Korean terrestrial broadcaster which has a nationwide network of 17 regional stations. Although it operates on advertising, MBC is a public broadcaster, as its largest shareholder is a public organization, The Foundation of Broadcast Culture. Today, it is a multimedia group with one terrestrial TV channel, three radio channels, five cable channels, five satellite channels and four DMB channels.
MBC is headquartered in Digital Media City (DMC), Mapo-gu, Seoul and has the largest broadcast production facilities in Korea including digital production centre Dream Center in Ilsan, indoor and outdoor sets in Yongin Daejanggeum Park.
Radio era (1961-1968)Edit
Launching the first radio broadcast signal (call sign: HLKV, frequency: 900 kHz, output: 10 kW) from Seoul, MBC started as the first non-governmental commercial broadcaster in Korea. On 12 April 1963, it obtained a license from the government for operating regional stations in major cities (Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon, Jeonju) in Korea, and established a broadcast network which connects six cities including Seoul and Busan.
Black & white TV era (1969-1980)Edit
MBC launched TV broadcasting on 8 August 1969 (call sign: HLAC-TV, output: 2 kW), and started to broadcast its main news program MBC Newsdesk on 5 October 1970. It reached affiliation deal with 7 commercial stations (in Ulsan, Jinju, Gangnueng, Chuncheon, Mokpo, Jeju, Masan) between 1968 and 1969, and started nationwide TV broadcasting through its 13 affiliated or regional stations. In 1974, FM radio was launched, and MBC took over The Kyunghyang Shinmun (daily newspaper company).
Colour TV era (1980-1990)Edit
The first colour TV broadcasting was started on 22 December 1980. MBC was separated from The Kyunghyang Shinmun according to the 1981 Basic Press Act. In 1982, it moved into the Yeouido headquarters and founded professional baseball team MBC Cheong-ryong (Blue Dragon). With the live coverage of the 1986 Seoul Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, MBC made a great advancement in scale and technology.
Multimedia era (1991-2000)Edit
After rapidly growing into a large corporation, covering major international events, MBC established specialized companies for each value chain (MBC Production, MBC Media Tech, MBC Broadcast Culture Center, MBC Arts Company, MBC Arts Center) and spined them off as subsidiaries to become a more efficient corporation amid fiercer competition in the multimedia era. ※ MBC Production and MBC Media Tech were merged into MBC C&I in August, 2011.
Digital era (2001–present)Edit
As the convergence of broadcasting and communications becomes full-fledged, MBC made its subsidiary iMBC (internet MBC) an independent corporation and pursued various internet-related business. Furthermore, it started cable TV (MBC Plus Media,) satellite TV, new DMB broadcasting and full daytime broadcasting on terrestrial television. In 2007, MBC established digital production centre Ilsan Dream Center, which is equipped with high-tech production facilities. In September 2014, it completed the construction of a new headquarters building and moved from Yeouido to Sangam-dong, opening a new era of Sangam MBC.
In 2001, MBC launched satellite and cable television broadcasting. As part of this expansion it created MBC America, a subsidiary based in Los Angeles, United States, to distribute its programming throughout the Americas. On 1 August 2008, MBC America launched MBC-D, a television network carried on the digital subchannels of KSCI-TV, KTSF-TV, and WMBC-TV. The service was planned to be launched in Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. by the end of the year. In northeast metro Atlanta, it aired on WKTB-CD channel 47.3, but as of 2011 is on WSKC-CD channel 22.1.
In March 2013, computer shutdowns hit South Korean television stations including the MBC. The South Korean government asserted a North Korean link in the March cyberattacks, which has been denied by Pyongyang.
MBC is an active member of international organizations such as ABU (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union), IATAS (The International Academy of Television Arts & Science) and INPUT (International Public Television Screening Conference), and is affiliated with 21 broadcasters in 13 different countries.
It is engaged in various global business through overseas corporations in Los Angeles and Shanghai, and bureaus in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East as well as Asia, in close cooperation with major global media groups.
MBC is devoted to entering foreign markets and expanding the business area. It maintains a close relationship with foreign buyers by participating in major content markets every year such as MIP-TV, MIPCOM, NATPE, BCWW and ATF. In addition, it operates an English web site which introduces various MBC content to the overseas buyers and viewers so that they can easily access its content.
MBC drama What on Earth Is Love? is the first Korean Wave drama which sparked the K-drama boom across China, when it was aired on CCTV in 1997. Since then, numerous MBC dramas, entertainment shows, and documentaries have been exported to different countries. The drama "Dae Jang Geum" was shown in as many as 91 countries around the world. More recently, MBC is widening its content business area by exporting show formats such as I Am a Singer, We Got Married and Dad! Where Are We Going? to other countries.
2005 - Live Music Camp incidentEdit
On Saturday, July 30, 2005, Rux was invited to appear on the MBC concert program Live Music Camp for their segment called “Is this song good?” The band members invited a large number of their supporters in the punk scene.
Toward the end of the performance, two punks disrobed and leapt around the stage in front of the live audience and the cameras. Between four and five seconds of full-frontal nudity was broadcast across the nation. The two streakers were mistakenly identified as members of the band Couch, although one was from Spiky Brats. Both were booked by the police without detention on charges of indecency and interference with a business. The police administered drug tests, but the results were negative. Won was also arrested for inviting the two to appear on the show.
Public response was furious, both against Rux and the broadcaster. MBC cancelled Music Camp, and the Korean Broadcasting Commission considered heavy disciplinary measures. Then mayor of Seoul, Lee Myung-bak suggested that Hongdae concerts be regulated by authorities, which prompted political rivals to compare Lee to former dictator Park Chung-hee.
Mad cow diseaseEdit
On April 27, 2008, PD Note televised an episode called "Is American Beef Really Safe from Mad Cow Disease?" which covered mad cow disease and alleged dangers associated with American beef. The South Korean Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries filed a legal suit against the producers as it announced that the program was distorted and exaggerated. However, the producers were exonerated by the Seoul central district court and the Supreme Court in 2010.
The prosecutors and sponsorsEdit
On April 20, 2010, PD Note televised an episode called "The prosecutors and sponsors" which investigates how Korean prosecutors are "sponsored" by businesses, receiving bribes in the form of money, drinks and women. They began the investigation after receiving information from a man about 57 former prosecutors being "sponsored." As the episode was well received by the audience, the second episode was broadcast on June 8, 2010.
The Four Major Rivers ProjectEdit
The Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs applied for an injunction to stop the airing of a PD Note episode, "The Six-Meter-Deep Secret of the Four Major Rivers," which was scheduled to be broadcast on August 17, 2010. The episode deals with a controversy about The Four Major Rivers Project launched by the Korean government in 2009, which is aimed at developing water resources by securing a sufficient water supply, preventing floods, upgrading water quality and reviving ecosystems, as well as boosting regional economies. Based on PD Note’s report on the episode which had already been released, the Ministry insisted that the episode contained false information. They requested that the Seoul Southern District Court stop further spread of the false information among the public. However, their request was dismissed; the episode was broadcast on August 24, 2010. According to the producers of PD Note, the MBC management also requested that they postpone the episode.
2013 - Show! Music Core rankingEdit
On 20 April 2013, MBC introduced a brand new ranking system for Show! Music Core, and as such had nominated INFINITE, K.Will, Davichi, and Lee Hi for the first place award. Singer K.Will was mistakenly announced as the winner. He looked confused, and was about to say thanks when the Show! Music Core staff quickly informed everyone on stage that there had been a mistake and that INFINITE was the actual winner. K.Will was quick to laugh it off and say, "It's okay, I’m okay." He even shouted, "I love INFINITE!" However, the INFINITE members themselves looked unsure about accepting the trophy.
Afterwards, the staff of the show was highly criticized by viewers. The staff made a statement on their official board and said,
This is the ‘Show! Music Core’ staff. There was a mistake in announcing the 1st-place winner on the 20 April broadcast. This was a mistake because the text votes were mixed up for the two 1st place nominees. The two team's scores are 100% fair results. The text votes accumulation company has promised to work harder to keep this from happening again. Please excuse us for not running a smooth live broadcast. Thank you.
2020 - Deepfake technology controversyEdit
On 20 April 2020, MBC News broadcast news about deepfake pornography. MBC used deepfake technology, an AI technology which changes an identity of someone on an image or a video to someone else's likeness. The news sparked outrage among Korean netizens due to its contents which consist of inappropriate materials. Korean boy band BTS, Korean singer IU and other celebrities were used as examples on the news. Viewers and fans of the celebrities used the hashtag #MBC_합성_사과해, to tell MBC to apologise and respond towards the incident. However, MBC hasn't said any official statements regarding the incident.
2021 - Olympics broadcast offensive accusationEdit
During the broadcasting of the parade of nations on the 2020 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, MBC was accused domestically and internationally for making depictions of numerous countries that were deemed racist and offensive. The most notable country depictions displayed during the broadcast is the use of the Chernobyl disaster to depict Ukraine and riots to depict Haiti. The incident sparked anger among Ukrainians and Haitians. On 27 July, MBC president Park Sung-jae apologised to the public as well as nations affected. He apologised to the Embassy of Ukraine and Romania in Seoul in a press conference and promised to ensure all of its content to be respectful towards universal values and cultural diversity. MBC also declared a written apology on their official website. Haitian Foreign Minister Claude Joseph however, fired back at MBC saying "their apology didn't go far enough, but the incident shouldn't be allowed to distract from the athletes who have worked tirelessly for years to get to the Olympics". The incident caused national uproar among Koreans, with some Korean netizens accusing MBC for being insensitive and unprofessional.
- 1 terrestrial TV (MBC TV – channel 11)
- 3 Radio stations:
|MBC Standard FM||900 kHz AM
95.9 MHz FM
|MBC FM4U||91.9 MHz FM||10 kW|
|Channel M||CH 12A DAB||2 kW|
- 5 cable (drama, sports, game-show, variety and documentary)
- 5 satellite (drama, sports, game-show, variety and documentary)
- 3 terrestrial DMB (TV, radio, data)
- 2 satellite DMB (drama, sports)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- Unknown, Unknown (31 July 2005). "Punk Rockers' Privates in Affront to Korea's 'Bourgeois'". Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
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-  Korea.net
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- "PD수첩 '4대강 비밀팀' 방송금지 가처분 기각". Dong-A Ilbo (in Korean). 17 August 2010.
- "MBC 김재철 사장 "'PD수첩 4대강 비밀팀', 방송 보류하라" 지시(종합)". Nocut News (in Korean). 17 August 2010.
- 음악중심' 치명적 방송사고, 1위가 바뀌었다' (in Korean). NATE. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
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- Vigdor, Neil (25 July 2021). "Broadcaster Apologizes for 'Inappropriate' Images Aired During Olympic Parade". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
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- Si-jin, Lee (26 July 2021). "MBC chief apologizes after yet another inappropriate caption airs during Tokyo Games". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
- "[사과문] 머리 숙여 사죄드립니다". MBC와 함께 (in Korean). 26 July 2021. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
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