It’s K-drama over playoff baseball in South Korea

October 21, 2015

MBC-TV ditches a playoff game to air ‘She was pretty’ as scheduled

Hwang Jung-eum, right, and Park Seo-jun in a scene from MBC's "She Was Pretty." (Courtesy of MBC)

Hwang Jung-eum, right, and Park Seo-jun in a scene from MBC’s “She Was Pretty.” (Courtesy of MBC

By Kwon Ji-youn

MBC-TV ditched a playoff baseball game for its popular Wednesday-Thursday drama series “She Was Pretty.”

After receiving an overwhelming number of protest calls and e-mails when the series’ ninth episode was postponed on Oct. 14, MBC decided to air episode 10 of the romantic comedy drama series Wednesday night as scheduled, rather than covering Game 3 of the best-of-five Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) playoff series between the NC Dinos and the Doosan Bears.

In a playoff game that wan’t televised, the Dinos went on to defeat the Bears 16-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

On Oct. 14, the station tentatively delayed “She Was Pretty” for 40 minutes as it was unsure how long the Doosan vs. Nexen game would run, and belatedly announced the show’s postponement in subtitles.

With the drama series starring Hwang Jung-eum and Park Seo-jun now at its climax, complaints poured in.

“They should have announced the postponement hours before so that no one was kept up waiting,” said one viewer. “What about viewers who don’t like baseball? That’s what sports channels are for.”

But the move may actually have done MBC some good, as the ninth episode, which aired Oct. 15, garnered 16.7 percent viewership, a record high for the drama that began at 4.8 percent.

On Oct. 13, SBS-TV cancelled coverage of the baseball playoffs to air its Monday-Tuesday drama series “Six Flying Dragons,” featuring Kim Myung-min and Yoo Ah-in. It had also cancelled coverage of the Nexen vs. SK wild card game on Oct. 7

The three major broadcasters have signed to air seven KBO games each, and so far, KBS has aired five, MBC, five, and SBS, four. It apparently does not matter which games they choose to broadcast as long as they air seven games. 

“Viewership isn’t as high for baseball games, so it’s natural for broadcasters to worry over which to air,” said a staffer.