KBS tops election coverage

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

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

KBS1’s election coverage recorded an 11.1% viewership, according to Nielsen Korea. It was the highest-rated election coverage, while SBS and MBC, which aired in the same timeslot, followed with 6.1% and 5.6% viewership, respectively.

Claiming that the first metaverse counting and the broadcaster’s own artificial intelligence prediction program were a hit with viewers, the channel said: “KBS was the first broadcaster to predict the election in three different stages -” in head ‘, ‘certain’ and ‘confirmed.’”

The Metaverse platform ifland and KBS broadcast the vote count broadcast on Wednesday.  (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

The Metaverse platform ifland and KBS broadcast the vote count broadcast on Wednesday. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

High-tech election coverage aside, the broadcaster sought to provide in-depth analysis by asking the hosts of KBS’s hit political talk show “Let’s Jeongchi 2,” former liberal politician Rhyu Si-min and right-wing lawyer Jun Won-tchack, examine each candidate’s pledges and interpret the results of the count.

The SBS terrestrial broadcaster was more about style than substance, relying on whimsical visuals, which may explain the low ratings.

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

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

“I thought the unexpected parody of ‘Mad Max’ was both entertaining and creative, helping viewers stay tuned in to the lengthy election coverage. I couldn’t stay awake until the end, I am sure the show made a lot of people laugh,” Watanabe told the Korea Herald on Thursday.

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

“I watched SBS’s previous presidential election coverage with ‘Game of Thrones’ on YouTube. That’s why I tuned in to SBS yesterday. I didn’t expect to see the candidates dancing on aespa’s ‘Next Level’,” said Claire.

“I also liked how the candidates used sign language when announcing the poll results,” she added.

Many viewers were excited about SBS’s “Mad Max” parody and Winter Olympics events featuring top presidential candidates Lee Jae-myung and Yoon Seok-yeol.

While many enjoyed the flashy presentation, some were concerned about the substance of SBS’ election coverage.

“The show was visually pleasing, but the level of discussion and analysis was lacking compared to KBS,” said a commenter on the YouTube video of SBS election coverage.

Miniature versions of jajangmyeon, or noodles with black bean sauce, are featured during MBC's 'Choice 2022' (MBC)

Miniature versions of jajangmyeon, or noodles with black bean sauce, are featured during MBC’s ‘Choice 2022’ (MBC)

Meanwhile, local broadcaster MBC infused a dose of culture into its coverage, featuring 3D models of Korean landmarks, traditional artwork, Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark” animation, and miniature versions of representative foods. from each of the Korean provinces and metropolitan cities.

A screenshot from JTBC's vote count program shows late President Roh Moo-hyun brought back to life by artificial intelligence.  (JTBC)

A screenshot from JTBC’s vote count program shows late President Roh Moo-hyun brought back to life by artificial intelligence. (JTBC)

Cable channel JTBC broke ranks by conducting its own exit poll and incorporating artificial intelligence 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 the hearts or eyeballs of viewers, as the show recorded a viewership rating of 3.02%, according to Nielsen Korea.

By Lee Si-jin ([email protected])

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