In America, it use to be that there were three major networks ABC, CBS, and NBC plus a Public Broadcasting station. Everything was in English. All shows were created to appeal to the majority of viewers, to get the largest audiences.
In my rural area, not much has changed. I still only get English TV stations. NBC, ABC, PBS, a weather channel, and if weather conditions are favorable, perhaps CBS. Basic cable subscription gets you 20 channels, but they are all in English. To get Korean TV, I have to go to sites like DramaFever or Viki.
In major cities, however, there are minority TV stations available now. I was thrilled on my last visit to New York City to have three Korean TV channels.
In the book “Television and Common Knowledge”, it describes the genre of minority TV. It classifies minority TV into three categories: ethnic, transnational, and exilic TV.
I had never thought before reading this book about how TV can serve as a way to support immigrants as they are growing accustom to their new culture. “Transnational TV is made by the home country , about the home country. It is a call for loyalty.”
It makes me wonder what English-speaking expats watch in Korea.
I also wonder about Korean TV. It seems like Korean dramas have a much larger audience than just Korean speakers. The whole Korean wave seems geared towards giving a positive impression of Korea to the world, and hence encouraging others to spend their money on Korean goods and travel. Korean TV in America is minority TV, but it’s audience is far more than simply people who want a connection to Korea as their home country.
Or at least, that is how it seems to this white, English-descendant American who has a passion for Korean dramas.
What are your thoughts? What is Korean TV like in your country?