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Korean TV networks may now offer 24 hour service

The Korean government announced its decision to lift a decades-long ban on late-night broadcasting of terrestrial television broadcasters to put them on an equal footing with cable TV channels, reports.

The decision was made during a plenary session of the Korea Communications Commission, which oversees the government’s broadcasting policies.

Currently, the nation’s three terrestrial TV broadcasters — KBS, MBC and SBS — can air programs for 19 hours a day (from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. the next day) while paid TV channels are free from the regulations.

According to the commission, the decision will allow the broadcasters to operate for 24 hours a day for the first time since TV broadcasting began in the country in 1961.

Under the decision, each major TV network will gradually increase their broadcasting time starting next month considering their manpower and other conditions for producing programs.

KBS 1TV will be the first channel to begin 24-hour service, according to the commission.