Fans of K-pop and Korean dramas can now experience broadcasting history and a slice of TV and radio programs at the KBS On, or KBS Experience Hall, at the channel's headquarters in Yeongdeungpo-gu in Seoul.
The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) is one of the leading broadcast stations in South Korea and its flagship "News 9" is the most trusted news program. It airs the popular K-pop TV program "Music Bank" and has produced top rating dramas such as "Love in the Moonlight," "Descendants of the Sun," "Boys Over Flowers" and "Winter Sonata."
KBS On, touted as the first broadcasting exhibition hall in Korea, is spread out over three floors and the entrance is free. The main hall showcases 3D images and KBS programs that are played on monitors while the second floor has large posters of KBS programs, including dramas, variety, news and documentaries.
On the fourth floor, one can see KBS program titles, virtual studios for news, weather bulletins and dramas, 3D Stereoscopic Theater, K-pop, TV sub-control room, broadcasting history, Hall of Fame, KBS Public Welfare. There is also Cartoon Dubbing Experience Corner, Kids' Program Characters and Photo Zone, KBS Sports and "News 9" presenter experience corner on that floor.
The fifth floor is the Broadcasting History Museum where fans can know more about equipment used for sound effects. In the same floor, visitors can also see radio drama production studio, history of music media development, KBS World and mock KBS radio show studio.
KBS operates two terrestrial and one international TV channels, six terrestrial and one international radio channels and four digital multi-broadcasting (DMB) channels. It was chosen as No. 1 top news brand in Korea following a 2014 survey.
As a public broadcaster, KBS receives a monthly license fee amounting to 2,500 won (about US$2.2) from each Korean household to fund its operations. In 2015, KBS collected 625.8 billion won (US$550.67 million) as license fees, representing 40 percent of its total revenue.
"KBS is the number one news outlet offline," according to Kim Dae Young, head of the distribution strategy team of the KBS Digital News Department that handles delivery of news online.
With the rise in the use of social media like Facebook to access news, KBS News is focusing on making a stronger presence online to replicate its top position.