Netflix Bolsters K-Drama Lineup in Multiyear Deal With South Korea's JTBC

Netflix
Hit Korean drama 'Chief of Staff' was streamed on Netflix the same day as its local broadcasts on JTBC.

The pact gives Netflix streaming rights to more than 20 Korean drama series over the next three years and follows a similar partnership signed with Seoul-based Dragon Studio just last week.

Netflix continues to bet big on Korean drama.


The streaming giant on Monday unveiled a three-year licensing deal with South Korean cable TV network JTBC. Under the partnership, which begins at the start of 2020, Netflix will acquire the worldwide streaming rights to more than 20 Korean-language drama series titles produced and aired by JTBC.


The deal comes hot on the heals of a similar three-year partnership Netflix unveiled last week with Seoul-based Studio Dragon, another producer of popular K-drama series. That deal entailed more than 21 K-drama titles heading to Netflix, including both licensed shows and several originals that Studio Dragon will develop and produce for the streamer.

With established Hollywood rivals like Disney now hoarding their IP for their own direct-to-consumer offerings, Netflix appears to be hurrying to further establish itself as a go-to destination for Korean drama — a recognition of the growing global popularity of the genre's glossy hit shows.

The new JTBC deal is an extension of a licensing agreement Netflix signed with the company in 2017. That earlier pact gave Netflix access to JTBC's library of 600 hours of scripted and unscripted TV shows. Since then, according to the two companies, several of JTBC's shows — such as SKY Castle, Something in the Rain, Life and My Country: The New Age — have proved a popular draw with Netflix users around the world.

“Our members love great made-in-Korea stories," Netflix said Monday. "We are thrilled to present the depth and variety of best in class Korean stories from JTBC."

Added JTBC: "The trust between JTBC and Netflix will become more solidified through the agreement. The agreement will also drive JTBC’s entrance into overseas markets as a global production house with high-quality content."