7th Asian Winter Games - KBS and MBC

Chang Il Kim, MBC Producer, Hyundoh Kwon, KBS engineer and Ji Young Noh, Chief Producer for KBS

As two of the three leading broadcasters in Korea, KBS and MBC are bringing the 7th Asian Winter Games to their audience in a true team effort. Sharing the broadcasting rights, the two broadcasters have split the individual disciplines between their respective channels in order to maximise the viewing experience for their market.

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Good news for Korean sports fans, who in recent years have begun to take a far greater inter­est in international sport, and especially winter competition. “In the past the viewers were only keen to watch if they felt that the Korean athletes had a good chance to win, but now the popu­larity of sporting competition has risen and there is a greater appetitie to view events such as the Asian Winter Games,” explained Ji Young Noh, Chief Producer for KBS.

“Plus, there is a real interest at the current time in winter sports due to the candidate bid by the city of Pyeongchang to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. That added aspect will certainly help our viewing figures to maintain a steady level.”

With a combined team of nine staff based in Kazakhstan – five from KBS and four from MBC – it has been a well run and efficient operation. However, that is not to say that challenges have not arisen. “We decided to base our reporters in Astana as, following the surprise victory of our athletes in the Speed Skating and Short Track Speed Skating in Vancouver, we expected our main successes to come in these events at the NIC and ISS venues. However, as it happens we have ultimately had more medal success in the Almaty venues, with our gold medals in Cross-Country Skiing and Alpine Skiing. You just cannot plan for these things...”

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Nevertheless, the vast majority of the combined KBS/MBC operation has gone smoothly and effectively. KBS have been transmitting two hours a day live for six of the competition days and a highlights show on all seven nights. MBC have two to three hours of live coverage per day. “The cover­age has been first rate, we know we can always trust IGBS to provide state of the art production,” added Chang Il Kim, Producer for MBC. “IGBS already has a proven track record so we could be completely reassured that our broadcast would be succesful.”

As for Kazakhstan as a host nation, there are words of encouragement for the future. “I hope Kazakh­stan can go on to host bigger events,” Noh con­cluded. “It would be good for them to accumulate more experience and build upon what they have learned in hosting this event.”

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