KBS 3 was a South Korean television station marketed mainly at younger audiences. It launched in 2003 and closed on September 17, 2008, alongside KBS 4, KBS Plus, the Korean feed of CBS and FreeNet. The network found itself in quite a few controversies in 2005 and 2006. The network continued to operate on a time slot on KBS from September 20, 2008 through October 22, 2010, when it finally closed completely. The network was partially closed due to falling viewership, as well as economic reasons.
History[edit | edit source]
Beginning[edit | edit source]
In 2002, KBS began a aggressive expansion campaign, launching KBS 2 and KBS Plus in October 2002 and March 2003 respectively. By mid-2003, the lack of influence over younger adults and teenagers was becoming more and more obvious, and in July 2003, they filed a broadcast television license to the South Korean government for a station called KBS 3.
KBS 3 was to compete with various other South Korean networks, and the network launched to a test group in Seoul on August 27, 2003. The test of KBS 3 was a huge failure, with various issues plaguing the network, however, KBS still saw the test as a success and launched the network on December 20, 2003 nationwide (although Busan and Pyeongchang wouldn't see the launch of the network until February 3, 2004).
The network struggled to compete with other networks, and quite often was pulled off the air for the day or in some instances up to a week or month due to technical issues, as they were using mostly spare equipment for KBS 3.
Struggle, failure[edit | edit source]
As the network continued to become a obvious waste of money, KBS 3 was pulled of the air until further notice in July 2004, it returned to the air in September 2004 with new equipment, and many of the former issues plaguing the network had seemed to had been solved.
However, viewership was still low, however was steadily increasing. The network was seen as a moderately stable network by June 2005, and steadily became very popular among younger audiences. However, when they pulled several famous shows and were discovered to had discriminated against other races working at KBS 3 in particular, the network's popularity plummeted.
By October 2006, the viewership rates of KBS 3 had dropped by 68% from May 2006, and the network was flopping badly. This followed up by many employees leaving through 2007 and early 2008, in combination with the housing crisis of 2007-2008, led to KBS seeking to close KBS 3.
Closure[edit | edit source]
As the network struggled to stay afloat, having to seek to infomercials in between programming and at night, KBS tried to find a last ditch method to save KBS 3, and it's sister stations, KBS Plus, FreeNet and CBS Korea.
Following the housing crisis beginning, they pulled the plug on KBS 3's nighttime programming, and moved CBS Korea into the nighttime slot for KBS 3, putting infomercials during the afternoon hours, leaving KBS 3 only airing in the morning and evening.
As KBS further lost money, by July 2008, they had realized that there was no way to salvage KBS 3, 4, Plus or CBS Korea, and thus declared that these networks would close on September 17, 2008. This announcement was made on July 23, 2008, and thus made it one of the few major network closures in South Korean history.
The network formally halted production of new shows on August 1, 2008, and fired most KBS 3 staff in late August and early September 2008. The network halted normal programming on September 15, 2008, and aired infomercials until it finally went off the air officially at around sunrise in Seoul on September 17, 2008.
KBS block (2008-2010)[edit | edit source]
Wanting to salvage the KBS 3 name, KBS briefly aired KBS 3 programming in a evening block on KBS 2 from September 15 through September 20, 2008, before moving it over to a nighttime block on KBS, they had intentions of restoring KBS 3 as a network once the housing crisis ended, however, the block flopped, and in 2009 they further shrunk the time of the block from it's original time of 8:00 pm to 3:00 am, to a new time of 11:00 pm to 1:00 am. By September 2010, they shrunk the block's time again, this time to 12:00 am to 1:00 am, before they abruptly closed the block on October 22, 2010, with no announcement.