The enormity of the World Cup can mean lower ratings and less successful comebacks for idols groups. As such, the Korean entertainment industry usually changes to accommodate the sporting event. But this year it’s a bit different.
Although the 2018 World Cup in Russia, business is running as usual in the entertainment industry. Unlike in the past where special albums, events, or programs the excitement of this year’s world cup seems to be felt only in the streets, but not so much in entertainment.
There are no noticeable changes in the broadcast schedule in the three major companies holding the right to televise the event. This is partially due to the times of the games. For the coming three matches that the national team has on the 18th, 24th, and 27th are later in the day at 9 pm, midnight, and 11 pm, respectively.
For Korea’s game against Sweden on the 18th, MBC canceled “Partners for Justice,” which usually airs at 10 pm, and inserted an hour of pre-game content. Likewise, KBS pushed their new drama “Are You Human Too?” back an hour from 10 pm to 11 pm. Further, SBS, who does not have any high tier dramas at the moment will have its shows aired as usual.
Thie the broadcast companies’ behavior contrasts greatly with how they treated 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. In comparison, MBC delayed all of their new dramas for five weeks as the games took place. However, although the three broadcasters are avoiding drastic schedule changes, that does not mean that they are not working to compete for World Cup viewership.
Advertising costs during the World Cup season are much higher. As such, the three have worked to bolster the content they do have relating to the event. MBC, KBS, and SBS have contracted different athletes, Ahn Jung-hwan, Lee Young-pyo and Park Ji-sung, to act as commentator for the World Cup screenings.
Generally, the move has worked. SBS recorded an 8.4 percent viewership during the Argentina and Iceland game while KBS saw a high of 8.2 percent for France vs. Australia match. Opposite, MBC had a 1.5 percent audience in the Seoul metro area in the qualifying match between Spain and Portugal. However, that game started at 3 am, which could have affected the number of watchers.
Idols Cross Paths with the World Cup
In years prior, singer avoided making a comeback during the World Cup season. Even though some artists topped charts, the magnitude of the sporting event and famous players took away from some of their audience. In general, many believed that people were so busy focusing on the World Cup that anything unrelated was neglected.
But it’s different this time around. Popular and influential groups and artists are racing to make a comeback. On June 15, girl group BlackPink returned with their first mini album. Moreover, in the coming days and weeks Wanna One, Taeyeon, BtoB, NU’EST W and Lena Park are all preparing comebacks. Additionally, next month Apink and TWICE are set to return with new music.
For the most part, the public as a whole is not enthralled by the charm of the World Cup this year. As an example, there are still street festivals, but they are not the same size as before. VIXX Leo and Gugudan Sejeong will sing the official team song “We, the Reds” and artists from hip-hop label AOMG will perform and help create an atmosphere before the latest match. Nevertheless, the amount of people involved has decreased significantly since 2014.
Translated by O.C
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