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KBS comes out top in election coverage


SBS election coverage “2022 People’s Choice” shows two presidential frontrunners Lee Jae-myung (left) and Yoon Suk-yeol competing in speedskating. (SBS)

SBS election coverage “2022 People’s Choice” shows two presidential frontrunners Lee Jae-myung (left) and Yoon Suk-yeol competing in speedskating. (SBS)

Public broadcaster KBS had the most-watched presidential election coverage on television in Korea Wednesday night.

KBS1’s election coverage recorded a 11.1 percent viewership rating, according to Nielsen Korea.

It was the highest-rated election coverage, while SBS and MBC, which aired in the same time slot, followed with 6.1 percent and 5.6 percent viewership ratings, respectively.

Claiming that the first metaverse ballot count and the broadcaster‘s own AI prediction program was a hit with viewers, the channel said, ”KBS was the first broadcaster to predict the election in three different stages — ‘leading,’ ‘certain’ and ‘confirmed.’” 

A metaverse platform ifland and KBS livestreamed the ballot count broadcast on Wednesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

A metaverse platform ifland and KBS livestreamed the ballot count broadcast on Wednesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

Terrestrial broadcaster SBS was more about style than substance, relying on fancy visuals, which may explain the low ratings.

Dai Watanabe, a 32-year-old shop owner from Daegu, said the show reminded him of Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, such as the pictogram performance.

“I thought the unexpected ‘Mad Max’ parody was both entertaining and creative, helping the viewers stay tuned to the long election coverage. I wasn’t able to stay awake until the end, I am certain that the show made many people laugh,” Watanabe told The Korea Herald Thursday.

“Mad Max” and K-pop girl group aespa’s “Next Level” parodies are shown on SBS‘ “2022 People’s Choice” (SBS)

“Mad Max” and K-pop girl group aespa’s “Next Level” parodies are shown on SBS‘ “2022 People’s Choice” (SBS)

A 26-year-old exchange student named Claire in Busan said the SBS show was entertaining enough that she watched the entire election broadcast.

“I watched SBS’ previous presidential election coverage featuring ‘Game of Thrones’ on YouTube. That was the reason why I tuned into SBS yesterday. I never expected to see the candidates dance to aespa’s ‘Next Level,’” Claire said.

“I also liked how the candidates were using sign language as the exit poll results were announced,” she added.

Many viewers were excited about SBS’s “Mad Max” parody and winter Olympic sports matches between the leading presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung and Yoon Seok-yeol as well.

“I think it was the best program that I’ve watched in years, including all the shows by the three major broadcasters,” a netizen commented on the SBS’ election coverage YouTube video.

Screenshots from “2022 People’s Choice” shows 3D-animated characters and the leading presidential candidates using sign language during the exit poll broadcast. (SBS)

Screenshots from “2022 People’s Choice” shows 3D-animated characters and the leading presidential candidates using sign language during the exit poll broadcast. (SBS)

“I wonder what SBS will do in 2027,” another comment read.

Miniatures of jajangmyeon, or noodles in black bean sauce, were presented during MBC’s “Choice 2022” (MBC)

Miniatures of jajangmyeon, or noodles in black bean sauce, were presented during MBC’s “Choice 2022” (MBC)

Meanwhile, local broadcaster MBC introduced a dose of culture to its coverage, showcasing 3D models of Korean landmarks, traditional artworks, Pinkfong’s Baby Shark animation and miniature versions of representative food from each of the Korean provinces and metropolitan cities.

A screenshot of JTBC’s ballot count program shows late President Roh Moo-hyun brought back to life with AI technology. (JTBC)

A screenshot of JTBC’s ballot count program shows late President Roh Moo-hyun brought back to life with AI technology. (JTBC)

Cable channel JTBC broke ranks by conducting its own exit poll and integrating AI technologies to resurrect deceased former presidents Park Chung-hee, Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun. However, the effort was not enough to win viewers’ hearts, as the show recording 3.02 percent viewership, according to Nielsen Korea.

By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)





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