|At the MOU agreement signing ceremony, Kim Tae-sup, chairman of the KDC Group and BBS president Lee Sung-un |
NDMB Plus, a broadcasting service provider bidding for a terrestrial Digital Media Broadcasting (DMB) service license and the Buddhist Broadcasting System (BBS) entered into a memorandum (MOU) of understanding together with a financing agreement on Feb. 4 for the purposes of mutual cooperation in the area of ground wave DMB.
At the MOU agreement signing ceremony, BBS president Lee Sung-un said, "To survive in the ground wave business to be launched in the first half of this year, it is necessary for providers to forge a distinctive strategy and offer outstanding features."
Under the terms of their MOU, should NDMB Plus win a ground wave DMB license, BBS will provide an audio channel, programming, and various forms of screen content. NDMB Plus is itself a consortium formed Feb. 3 between NDMB and DMB Plus, another broadcasting service provider bidding for a terrestrial DMB licenses and which will be headed by chief executive officers of the two companies.
Kim Tae-sup, chairman of the KDC Group who has assumed the leadership of NDMB Plus, said he is confident that NDMB Plus will prove to be the most competitive consortium by combining the varied contents and technological capability of DMB Plus and the financial stability of NDMB". The chairman emphasized that NDMB Plus will go all out to make a success of its DMB business venture, adding that the formation of the consortium with BBS will contribute an added element of security.
NDMB Plus is the fourth consortium formed to acquire a DMB license following the launch by Korea DMB and CBS late last year of Korea DMB-CBS, and the creation by YTN and ANTV of KMMB. A total of 6 service providers are in the running for just 3 licenses.
Since competition for the licenses began in earnest at the end of last year, different providers have sounded the possibility of forming a 'grand consortium'. This is because license seekers who are not in the business of providing ground wave TV lack the necessary capital and know-how to establish and to independently operate a broadcasting station, unlike contenting broadcasters KBS, MBC, SBS and EBS.
In other words, candidate consortia with no background in providing ground wave TV are judging that they would be able to minimize setbacks in the DMB business by joining forces. Accordingly, the possibility of a grand consortium formed by more than three consortia just prior to the Feb. 14 application deadline remains strong.
An executive of the YTN consortium said, "YTN is leaving the door open for a last minute agreement". An executive of Korea DMB-CBS also stated that "We have a proactive attitude in regard to integrating with another consortium".
Most consortia, indeed, favor a 'grand consortium solution'. However, dissenting voices against a grand consortium say additional integration might be wasteful.
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