Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation

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This article is about the South Korean broadcaster. For the Philippine radio network, see Manila Broadcasting Company. For the television channel in the Middle East, see Middle East Broadcasting Center. For other uses, see MBC.
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Type Broadcast radio and
Country South Korea
Availability South Korea, United States (Satellite, certain metropolitan areas over-the-air)
Slogan Good Friends, MBC
Owner The Foundation of Broadcast Culture: 70%
Jung-Su Scholarship Foundation: 30%
Key people
Ahn, Kwang-Han, CEO & President
Launch date

April 15, 1959 (Regional Radio Service)

December 2, 1961 (National radio)
August 8, 1969 (television)
2001 (digital)
2005 (DMB)
Callsigns HLKV, HLKV-FM and HLKV-TV
(formerly HLAC-TV)
Official website
Korean name
Hangul 문화방송주식회사
Hanja 文化放送株式会社
Revised Romanization Munhwa Bangsong Jushikhoesa
McCune–Reischauer Munhwa Pangsong Chushikhoesa
MBC logo (Other) at (Black Design).svg
Launched August 8, 1969
Picture format 480i (16:9, SDTV);
1080i (HDTV)
Country South Korea
Language Korean language
Formerly called HLAC-TV (1969-1972)
Analogue Channel 11
(Until December 31, 2012)
Digital Channel 14 (UHF 471.31MHz-LCN 11-1) (Seoul)
SkyLife Channel 11 (HD)
Cignal Digital TV (Philippines) Coming Soon
Dream Satellite TV (Philippines) Channel 31
Available on most South Korean cable systems With Channel Numbers 11, 13 and 4 in common.
Check local listings for details
SkyCable (Philippines) Channel 148 (Digital)
Destiny Cable (Philippines) Channel 148 (Digital)
Cablelink (Philippines) Coming Soon
StarHub TV (Singapore) Channel 816 (as Oh!K Asia in HD)
B TV Channel 11 (HD)
U+ TV Channel 11 (HD)
Olleh TV Channel 11 (HD)
Streaming media
KOREALIVE Click on MBC 채널11
K Live Stream MBC

The Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC; Korean: 문화방송주식회사; Hanja: 文化放送; Munhwa Bangsong Jushikhoesa, literally "Cultural Broadcasting Corporation")(KRX: 052220) is one of four major national South Korean television and radio networks, and is the oldest among all commercial broadcasting networks in South Korea. Munhwa is the Korean word for "culture". Its flagship terrestrial television station is Channel 11 (LCN) for Digital. Twice government owned, the network is managed by the Foundation of Broadcast Culture (which owns 70% of the company's stock), while the Jung-Su Scholarship Foundation owns 30%. MBC receives no government subsidy, and derives its income almost entirely from commercial advertising. It has 19 regional stations, and 10 subsidiaries. The network evolved from Busan Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, the first private broadcasting corporation in the country. As of 2011, MBC has over 4,000 employees. It has provided terrestrial digital TV service in the ATSC format since 2001, and T-DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) service since 2005.


Four-story MBC headquarters, with trees in foreground
MBC's third headquarters, Yeouido, Seoul, South Korea

MBC began as Busan Munhwa Bangsong (Busan Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, or Busan MBC), and was established in 1959 in Busan, South Korea. The radio station was then owned by Jeong Hwan-ok (a radio-store operator) and Kim Sang-yong (a former department-store owner). Jeong had suggested that Kim open a private broadcasting station; Kim was looking for a new business opportunity, and at that time Japanese stations dominated the south coastal Korean radio dial. On April 15, 1959 the postal ministry authorized Busan MBC to operate, making it Korea's first private commercial broadcaster. Busan MBC began its service with a 1 kW AM station, and became known for broadcasting the first CM Song in South Korea.

The company, however, faced financial problems: production costs for a local radio station were
higher than expected, and advertising did not generate sufficient revenue. The network also faced a management crisis. In September 1959 Busan MBC was sold to Kim Ji-tae, who owned the Busan Daily. Its management was revamped, and the network was saved from bankruptcy. After the network was rejuvenated, Kim decided to launch a private radio station in Seoul. That year, the postal ministry had approved four private stations. Kim purchased the right to operate a radio station in Seoul and launched a network in 1961, with a small AM station (as of 2011, the chief stockholder of Busan MBC is MBC in Seoul); MBC became the first private broadcasting network in South Korea that launched a national network.

After the military coup on May 16, 1961, the network faced a challenge when Kim was accused by Park Chung-hee (South Korea's then-President) of corruption. Kim, under pressure, surrendered both Busan MBC and Busan Ilbo to the May 16 Scholarship Foundation in May 1962. It began television broadcasting on August 8, 1969 (MBC-TV was the third TV network in South Korea; the first is KBS-TV which was launched on December 31, 1961 while the second, TBC-TV, which is owned by Joong-ang Ilbo, was launched in 1965) and FM radio broadcasts in 1971. However, when the network faced severe financial problems to promote its television network, Park Chung-hee ordered 11 major companies to buy out 70% of MBC stocks from May 16 Scholarship Foundation to provide its financial support. Until 1980, these major companies could not sell MBC stocks nor request dividends from MBC without the government's approval.[1] Under the Chun Doo-hwan regime, South Korea's media policy had changed. The regime had closed several private commercial radio and TV networks and most of MBC's shares were taken by the government; MBC lost its position as a private broadcaster. On November 14, 1980, 70% of the network's stock was given to the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).[2]

Partly to address concerns following the country's 1987 democratic reforms, the National Assembly established the Foundation for Broadcast Culture on December 26, 1988 to insulate MBC from political influence and KBS. Now, the network is owned by the Foundation of Broadcast Culture (which owns 70% of the company's stock) while the Jung-Su Scholarship Foundation (former May 16 Scholarship Foundation) owns 30%. Although the network is now managed by the Foundation, MBC has maintained its role as a commercial broadcaster. MBC has had many jingles since 1969: most of them end with Korean: "MBC...문화방송", "MBC...Munhwa Bangsong" in romanization and "MBC...Munhwa Broadcasting" in English; it was also used in 1994 for the silver anniversary of MBC-TV.

In 1991, MBC, the first private commercial broadcaster network in South Korea, lost its monopoly when the government allowed the second private commercial broadcaster station SBS to begin broadcasting on MBC 30th Anniversary, December 2–9, 1991. MBC and SBS celebrated their anniversary at December 1992 in MBC 31st Anniversary and SBS 2nd Anniversary on December 2–9, 1992. It also done in 1996, to celebrate MBC 35th Anniversary and SBS 6th Anniversary.

In 2001, MBC launched satellite and cable television broadcasting. As part of this expansion it created MBC America, a subsidiary based in Los Angeles, California, USA, to distribute its programming throughout the Americas. On August 1, 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.[3][4] In northeast metro Atlanta, it aired on WKTB-CD channel 47.3, but as of 2011 is on WSKC-CD channel 22.1.

On October 21, 2011, the heads of MBC and Google signed an agreement of partnership. MBC will release 10,000 hours of content produced before 2005. The files will be divided into 10-minute clips with advertisement in between. MBC is also interested in holding a K-pop concert at the head office of Google to celebrate the partnership. The concert was broadcast live worldwide through YouTube on May 21, 2012.[5] On January 1, 2013 MBC TV became South Korea's third channel to go 24/7. On August 3rd, 2014, MBC moved it's headquarter to sangam-dong, Digital Media City(DMC).

MBC channels[edit]

See also in Korean Wikipedia: Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation Television
  • 1 terrestrial TV (MBC-TV channel 11)
  • 3 Radio stations :
Name Frequency Power (kW)
HLKV-AM 900 kHz AM
95.9 MHz FM
50 kW(AM)
10 kW(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)

MBC programs[edit]


MBC dramas are exported to 30 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. Dae Jang Geum has high audience ratings in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong; its popularity has continued in 50 countries, including Japan. Other dramas that have enjoyed high viewership include Jumong, Coffee Prince, Moon Embracing the Sun, Yi San, Queen Seondeok, and Dong Yi.


MBC’s reality program Infinite Challenge has enjoyed high ratings for seven consecutive years. The comedians hosting Exclamation! (which ended its run in 2007) have promoted reading, reuniting foreign workers in South Korea with their families and providing medical help to the elderly.

Current affairs and documentaries[edit]

MBC documentaries encompass a wide range of issues, from foreign affairs to the environment. PD Notebook premiered in 1990, and has since earned notoriety for its investigations from a journalistic standpoint. Episodes have included one covering scientific fraud by Korean geneticist Hwang Woo-Suk, and another containing arguments against importing US beef.[6] The latter episode, entitled "Is American Beef Really Safe from Mad Cow Disease?", contributed to three months of protest in Seoul against importing US beef. Since then, the accuracy of the episode and the program's method of obtaining information has been questioned.[7][8][9] MBC current-affairs and documentary programs have won recognition from the New York and Banff TV Festivals, the Asian TV Awards, ABU Prizes, Earth Vision and the Japan Wildlife Festival.

News and sports[edit]

MBC has nineteen regional stations in Korea, nine permanent overseas bureaus and service arrangements with CNN, APTN, Reuters TV and NBC. It also produces news-analysis programs such as News Magazine 2580, News Who, 100-Minute Debate, Economy Magazine, Global Report, Newsdesk and North Korea Report covering the political, economic, social and cultural issues of the days.


Comments about Foreigners[edit]

In June 2012, MBC came under fire for a segment on their "Think Different" documentary section called "The Shocking Truth about Relationships with Foreigners." The video shows that relationships between Korean women and foreign men can be a social problem that must be dealt with by Koreans. The video features a series of anonymous interviews with victims of foreigners' crime. In response to complaints, an MBC "representative responded that the documentary was outsourced and not produced in-house." [10]

Racist Allegations Against Black People[edit]

MBC has come under fire numerous times for depicting non-Koreans in stereotypical or derogatory ways. For example, one segment which features a member of the K-pop group Beast in blackface eating a watermelon participating in a challenge where he has to act "black". At numerous times the host of program intervenes to tell the participant, "You have to be as rude as a real black person." [11]

MBC Radio DJ Laughing At No Laughing Matter Scandal[edit]

An HLKV-FM (MBC's Main FM Station.) DJ was criticized for laughing at no laughing matter. DJ Kim Tae-yeon angered some listeners because she laughed at a non laughing matter. A letter was sent in from a concerned listener asking Taeyeon to give encouragement to her younger sister. As her younger sister hasn't been looking bright lately, very tired with dark circles around her eyes. But as she was reading that, Taeyeon couldn't help herself from laughing. Fans are insisting that the laughter was first triggered from a mistake in the script mistakenly putting 커피 교환권 (keopi gyohwangwon) / Coffee Vouchers as 코피 교환권 (kopi gyohwangwon) / Nose Bleed Vouchers. Because of her laughter through this serious segment, the listeners complained on MBC's Message Board stating how can she be laughing through this serious matter. Taeyeon apologized a few times for laughing and followed up with a light comment stating "It's OK to laugh, laughing brings good luck."

Gift sent by an overseas fan for SHINee's Jonghyun was pocketed by MBC writers Scandal[edit]

On April 11, a broadcasting writer for MBC revealed on their personal Facebook that snacks meant for SHINee's Jonghyun and sent in by a Polish fan were consumed in his stead by the company's writers, stirring up some controversy. The person wrote, "A fan of SHINee's Kim Jonghyun from Poland sent a lot of presents to MBC. It seems that this innocent fan believed writing 'MBC address to SHINee's Jonghyun' would get it to Jonghyun. However, this sincere present was unfortunately delivered to our manager of the same name as Jonghyun, and I bring this sad news that it went into not a snacking Jonghyun but the writers' stomachs. The Polish fan girl must be 10,000 times more upset than I am when I get on the wrong bus. I'll enjoy the snacks. I'll enjoy the snacks." As soon as this was posted online, it was screen captured and uploaded onto fan cafes and online communities under "Gift sent by an overseas fan for SHINee's Jonghyun was pocketed by MBC writers," causing some controversy. Netizens wrote in response, "The fact that the present was intercepted in the process is absurd itself, but it is even more ridiculous that the writer would even post this. Do you have any sense?" "Isn't Jonghyun a radio DJ for MBC? They could have definitely given it to him," "I feel sorry for the international fan who sent the present," "Did she seriously write this to show off? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ" "tsk tsk, from WGM producers to this, MBC is just proving themselves to be fools;" "Such psychos ㅋㅋㅋ Is she really bragging about this? Just thinking about how excited that fan must've been putting it all together only for it to turn out like this... They're so bad. "Couldn't she just have delivered it to Jonghyun through someone else? Why would she even brag about eating up someone else's gift?" "For a scriptwriter, she sure doesn't know how scary and powerful words are considering she wrote something up like this.." "Poor foreign fan... Imagine how angry SHINee Jonghyun would be once he finds out? Way to prove yourself to be a fool... tsk tsk" "SNS must continue to exist... there is nothing better than SNS at outing people for the true fools they are." "What a dumb scriptwriter" and more. The writer's Facebook post has since been deleted.[12][13]

+19 Profanity on Radio[edit]

On June 12, 2014, both Simon D and Girls' Generation's Sunny made an apology regarding their conversation on the June 11 airing of Sunny's MBC FM4U program 'Sunny's FM Date' as the content was deemed inappropriate. On June 11, 2014, Simon D appeared in the corner entitled 'The Technique for Love' and took part in informal speech and jokes of a mature nature. Simon D told Sunny, "You did a good job calling me. I have really good technique," starting off with a suggestive comment from the beginning. A taken aback Sunny said, "You love with your heart. But you've kept talking about technique." Simon D replied, "Using your heart is also a kind of technique. Likewise, using your body could be another kind of technique." Also on this day, Simon D said in the early part of the broadcast, "To tell the truth, I drank until I got sick and lied down for two days before coming here. That's why my face isn't that great right now. Though I came here to see our Sunny," which made people wonder if he was intoxicated on set. Simon D also joked around and spoke in the informal style of Korean, which is considered impolite in Korea, in which he said things such as “I’m here to pick Sunny up”, “I came here thinking this was a date”, “I feel happy now that I’m meeting cutie Sunny”. This sexual joke caused many of the viewers to become uncomfortable, and thus Sunny requested for Simon D to turn it down a notch, as teens were also listening to the program, to which he replied, “teens already know everything they need to know… Why did you invite me as a guest if you were going to tell me to turn it down?”. He was later reprimanded by netizens for his unpleasant behavior. “I heard the broadcast and I thought he was joking, but it got worse instead. There is a time and place for everything,” a netizen wrote. Simon D later apologize on Twitter saying : “I was not intoxicated at that time and it was all due to my shortcomings in regarding broadcast too comfortably. I will behave more humbly and appropriately on broadcast in the future. I am sorry.”, At the press call for her musical 'Singin' In the Rain' on June 12, Sunny also addressed this issue: "It has only been a month since I've been on the radio so far, so I think my incompetence is to blame. From now on, I will work harder so that no matter what guest comes in or whatever corner is going on, I will make it so that people can listen without discomfort.".[14][15][16][17][18]

Music Core Chart Winner Mix-up[edit]

On the April 20th episode, MBC has introduced a brand new ranking system for ‘Music Core’, and as such has nominated INFINITE, K.Will, Davichi, and Lee Hi for #1 on the charts. K.Will was mistakenly announced as the winner. He looked confused as if he couldn’t believe it, and as he was about to say his thanks, the ‘Show! Music Core’ staff quickly informed everyone on stage that there had been a mistake and that INFINITE were the actual winners. 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 and confused 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 April 20th 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." [19]


iMBC is MBC's website, providing users with information on current and past programs and allowing users to download or stream programs to watch. Established in March 2000 as the internet subsidiary of MBC, iMBC uses the digital content of MBC to provide content to internet, mobile and ISP users and foreign businesses. iMBC also plans projects for creating, developing, and circulating new content. The site offers free and paid VOD services for users to view programs online. While the public-service programs, news, radio and programs currently on-air are free, drama, entertainment, and current-affairs programs are not.

For viewers in Korea and abroad, iMBC offers VOD streaming services. An episode typically costs around ₩500, and there is a fixed fee allowing users to watch as many videos as they wish for ₩4,000 a day or ₩15,000 a month. For users abroad, iMBC offers VOD download and streaming services, available for ₩1000 (about $1 US) each.

Former logos[edit]

Foreign partners[edit]

Partner Country
Nine Network Australia
Rede Globo Brazil
CTV Canada
Canal 13, UCV Televisión and Telecanal Chile
Shanghai Media Group and Hunan TV China
M6 France
Municipal Television of Thessaloniki Greece
MTV Hungary
Channel 3 and Channel 5 Thailand
Fuji Television, TV Asahi and TV Tokyo Japan
Indosiar Indonesia
ATV Hong Kong
Canal 13 Paraguay
Panamericana Televisión Peru
TVI Portugal
Al Jazeera Qatar
TVR Romania
Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific and MediaCorp Singapore
Telecinco Spain
TRT Turkey
CBS, Univision and Bloomberg Television United States
CTV Taiwan
ZDF Germany
ITV and Channel 5 United Kingdom
Venevisión Venezuela
Hanoi TV Vietnam

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Korean)Who Owns the Korean TV stations?
  2. ^ [1] [Viewpoint] Dramatic changes at MBC,JoongAng Daily,August.20,2009
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "MBC to partner up with Google". Asia Pacific Arts. 2011-10-26. 
  6. ^ Bad Marks All Round In Hwang Scandal Retrieved October 14, 2006
  7. ^ Lee Jung-bock: POLITICAL CHANGES IN KOREA(33) Korea on path to mature liberal democracy, 2008/02/15
  8. ^ MBC suspends producers for breaching ethics
  9. ^ Media ethics judged, found wanting
  10. ^ [2] Retrieved June 1st, 2012
  11. ^ [3] Retrieved June 20th, 2013
  12. ^ "MBC writer claims staff ate fan given snacks originally meant for SHINee's Jonghyun". Allkpop. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "MBC scriptwriter eats fan gift sent to SHINee's Jonghyun without permission". Netizen Buzz. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "'Sunny and Simon D apologize for their 'inappropriate' exchange on her radio program'". Allkpop. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "'SIMON D APOLOGIZES FOR INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR ON SUNNY’S FM DATE'". Koreaboo. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "'Being rude, Simon D apologizes to Girls' Generation's Sunny'". ttwigo. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "'Simon D Tweets an Official Apology for His Behavior on Radio and Gary Shows His Support'". Mnet (TV channel). 12 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  18. ^ . Simon D's Twitter. 12 June 2014 Retrieved 14 June 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ 음악중심' 치명적 방송사고, 1위가 바뀌었다' (in Korean). NATE. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 

External links[edit]


Social networking[edit]