South Korea’s largest broadcasters are teaming up to create a streaming service to rival Netflix as the race to create on-demand platforms shows no signs of slowing.
Broadcasting firms Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) have joined with SK Telecom to set up the new venture this year.
The four companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to launch the service, which is as yet unnamed, according to local media reports.
The deal will see the merging of video streaming services Oksusu and Pooq, which together have more than 13m subscribers.
The new platform will reportedly look to expand throughout Asia, as Pooq has existing links with Hong Kong’s ViuTV, Malaysia’s iFlix and China’s iQiyi.
The new venture will seek to challenge the dominance of streaming giant Netflix, which last year secured the rights to hit Korean drama Mr. Sunshine.
The move came as US broadcasting giant NBC revealed it will launch its own streaming service in early 2020.
The platform will be available at no additional cost to NBC subscribers, and anyone will be able to pay for a standalone subscription.
NBC is the latest in a long list of firms looking to cash in on the boom in video streaming. Apple, Disney and IMDB are among major companies that have recently unveiled plans for over-the-top (OTT) video services.
But the proposed South Korean venture is the first time broadcasters have teamed up to take on the might of Netflix.
In November Ofcom boss Sharon White called on UK public service broadcasters to create a combined on-demand service to challenge the US streaming service.
A so-called Brit player would bring in more international funding and boost the UK’s presence on the world stage, White said.