Asia Business Channel

South Korean broadcasters said to be pressuring LG Uplus to sever its ties with Netflix

Korean Broadcasters are stepping up pressure on LG Uplus to withdraw from its alliance with Netflix, the world's largest online streaming service provider. LG Uplus started to provide Netflix contents through its Internet TV service this month.

The Korea Broadcasting Association, which comprises 40 TV stations nationwide, said in a statement that: "We advise LG Uplus to be careful not to be penny wise and pound foolish under short-sighted management and withdraw from its business ties with Netflix." The KBA said that "LG Uplus' unfair Netflix-linked service will lead to the destruction of the entire Korean media industry.”

It also urged the Korean government to come up with measures to protect domestic broadcasters. Referring to Netflix’s partnership with LG Uplus, the association said the global streaming service provider used the same strategy of partnering with a “weak link” to penetrate the European market, which was dominated by cultural barriers.

LG Uplus is the third-largest IPTV service provider in Korea. It is also the smallest among Korea’s three major mobile service providers. In its deal with Netflex, LG Uplus is known to share the revenues from its Netflix-linked services in a 9:1 ratio in favor of Netflix.

LG Uplus has also come under criticism by deciding to use telecom equipment from China's Huawei for its 5G services despite security concerns.

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