KOREAN TELEVISION DEBUTS IN AMERICAN SAMOA

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By Tina Mata’afa

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Dec. 10) – The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), made available on channel 43 in American Samoa in September, is proving to be popular with residents, said Mr. Hyun-Hwi Lee who brought KBS to the islands.

"Many people tell me they like the programs with subtitles and the family stories," Lee told Samoa News.

He also said non-Koreans are enjoying learning more about the Korean culture and watching live worldwide sports event, regularly aired on KBS that includes the biggest event in soccer - The World Cup.

KBS says they are "a channel for the global citizen," and by watching KBS, non-Korean viewers "can gain a better understanding of Korea and what it means to be Koreans" and believes they will pave the way for Korea's globalization efforts."

KBS is currently in talks to put KBS World in French and German markets.

In Korea, viewers must pay to watch, however, in American Samoa, it is totally provided free of charge by American Samoa Cablevision. KBS World is also aired in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Guam and Saipan. Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mongolia.

Regarding Korean culture, the station said Koreans at home and across the world share a culture, and KBS World "ties together the facts of our lives into one network." Also, Samoans are enjoying the station that offers 24-hour live news broadcasts, "the window into Korea, open for the world's perusal," the KBS Web site says.

For viewers who haven't had the chance to check out KBS, you can find it on American Samoa Cablevision Channel 43. On their Web site, KBS say they are "the number-one ranked, most influential news source in Korea" airing "quality news in real-time."

"KBS has many, many programs that American Samoa is enjoying, a lot of them with English subtitles," said Lee. He reported that at Paradise, Inc. customers have relayed to him their pleasure in watching the dramas and other shows available on KBS and have even videotaped some shows while they are at work so they can watch them later. Korea and American Samoa have a four-hour time difference.

Lee was also responsible for bringing YTN, Cable Channel 42 to the airwaves of American Samoa. YTN, he said, is "just like CNN," with 24-hour news broadcasts. YTN has done stories on local events such as the Miss South Pacific Pageant, the Fireknife Dance Competition, the local Tae Kwon Do Academy, and White Sunday.

Lee, who is also a reporter, supplies news stories to KBS and YTN, who in turn reach Samoan communities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego.

Lee's KBS project began in 2003, and the final piece of equipment was a US$3,500 receiver that was purchased with the help of ANZ and H and H Inc. (SAMSUNG A/C Samoa Branch).

December 15, 2005

The Samoa News: http://www.samoanews.com/

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