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
Astro (Malaysia) Channel 394 (as Oh!K HD)
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 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. MBC also broadcasts Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers games when Hyun-Jin Ryu pitches and Shin-Soo Choo and Jung-ho Kang bat.


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]

Music Core Chart Winner Mix-up[edit]

On April 20, 2013, 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." [11]


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
Seven Network, Nine Network, and SBS Australia
Rede Globo Brazil
CTV, Global and TVOntario Canada
Canal 13, UCV Televisión and Telecanal Chile
Shanghai Media Group and Hunan TV China
M6, France Televisions and D8 France
MTV Hungary
Cielo & Mediaset Italy
Municipal Television of Thessaloniki Greece
BBTV Channel 7, Channel 3, and MCOT Thailand
Fuji Television, TV Asahi, Tokyo MX and TV Tokyo Japan
Indosiar, SCTV, RTV, and Global TV Indonesia
ATV Hong Kong
Canal 13 Paraguay
Panamericana Televisión Peru
TVI Portugal
Al Jazeera Qatar
TVR Romania
MediaCorp and Turner Asia Pacific Singapore
laSexta, Cuatro and Telecinco Spain
TRT Turkey
PBS, Univision, The CW, CNN, MTV, FOX, MundoFox and Bloomberg Television United States
Formosa TV, TTV and CTS Taiwan
ZDF, RTL Television and ProSieben Germany
ITV, BSkyB and Channel 5 United Kingdom
Venevisión Venezuela
Hanoi TV and TodayTV VTC7 Vietnam

See also[edit]


External links[edit]


Social networking[edit]