KBS Subscription Fee Refunds on the Rise | Be Korea-savvy

KBS Subscription Fee Refunds on the Rise

The headquarters of KBS in Yeouido, south-west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The headquarters of KBS in Yeouido, south-west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Korea Bizwire)An increasing number of South Koreans are requesting that their subscription fee for KBS, the national public broadcaster, be refunded.

According to a KBS report presented by Rep. Song Hee-kyoung of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, more than 1.4 million Koreans have requested a refund of the subscription fee for the national broadcaster over the past five years, with 105,050 cases actually qualifying for a refund.

The number of refund cases went from 16,238 in 2015 to 15,746 in 2016, before increasing to 20,246 in 2017 and 35,531 in 2018.

This year, the number of refunds had already reached 17,289 cases as of June.

“Most of the requests for a refund involved the subscription fee charged after the person moved out of the currently registered address,” said KBS.

“The increasing number of cases since 2018 are likely the result of a more lenient refund policy applied in September 2017.”

The subscription fee for KBS is 2,500 won (US$2.06) per month and is normally included in the electricity bill. People who own a television are required to pay the fee.

According to last year’s KBS basic operations plan, the broadcaster raised 1.5 trillion won (US$1.2 billion), 43.1 percent of which came from collecting the broadcasting fee, followed by commercials (26.7 percent), and other income channels (28.7 percent).

H. M. Kang (hmkang@koreabizwire.com)

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