MIPCOM Names South Korea Country of Honor

THE MASKED SINGER: The Kangaroo - Publicity - H 2020
Michael Becker/FOX

Korean's 'The Masked Singer' has been one of the most successful global formats of recent years and drama series 'The Good Doctor' has been adapted in several countries.

South Korea will be this year's country of honor at international TV confab MIPCOM, honoring the global success of Korean television drama and reality formats. 

Korean shiny floor competition show The Masked Singer has been one of the most successful formats worldwide in recent years — the U.S. adaptation on Fox kicked off multiple international versions of the show, and the ABC adaptation of Korean drama series The Good Doctor was the most-watched television drama in the world last year, with a global audience of almost 50 million viewers. 

This U.S. success follows more than a decade in which Korean drama has dominated markets in Asia. Series such as Boys Over Flowers, My Love for Another Star, or Netflix's zombie period drama Kingdom, has solidified the country's reputation as a hotspot for top-end TV. 

Following a pattern set by K-pop music, and the success of Korean cinema such as this year's Best Picture Oscar winner Parasite, Korean TV has slowly built a global audience. South Korea’s exports of cultural content in 2018, the last year for which official figures are available, jumped 8.4 percent to $9.55 billion. Average growth before that, between 2014 and 2017, was 16 percent annually. 

"Korean content is rewriting history in various sectors such as drama, K-Pop, and movies," said Han Sang-hyuk, chairman of the Korea Communications Commission in a statement. Due to coronavirus restrictions this year, MIPCOM's Korea focus will take place online, with four virtual conference sessions, focusing on new formats out of Korea, the secret behind Korea's production and distribution model, and one featuring case studies of successful co-productions between Korea and international partners. 

MIPCOM will also organize virtual matchmaking and networking opportunities for industry execs looking to connect to the Korean market,  including an "It's a Match with Korean Producers" event involving 25 top Korean producers who will be paired with potential international partners including key commissioning editors, buyers, and producers.

All Korea’s leading broadcasters will take part in MIPCOM's Online+ virtual market this year, including the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corp (MBC), Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), and the Educational Broadcasting System (EBS), along with cable operators CJ ENM and JTBC.

The all-virtual MIPCOM runs Oct. 12-Oct. 14.