Seoul – Cable companies and some content providers fear the newly signed US-Korea free trade agreement will result in a deluge of U.S. investment in the cable sector and warn that U.S. programming will be more costly and command more screen time. The Korean Cable TV Association slammed the U.S.’s demand to open the market as “cultural imperialism,” which would result in massive U.S. investment that would swallow the cable TV industry. Under South Korean law, foreigners cannot hold more than 49% of shares in a broadcasting firm or more than 30% in a newspaper company. The association claims the U.S. already accounts for 67.6% of imported programmes, and such heavy dependence on American cultural content would worsen if the market were fully opened. And it warns that foreign firms would hike the prices of broadcasting rights for popular programs such as the English Premier League, Major League Baseball and Hollywood movies.
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