SK Telecom gets joint offers from foreign video platform operators

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : April 22, 2019, 18:07 | Updated : April 22, 2019, 18:07

[Courtesy of SK Telecom]

SEOUL -- South Korea's top mobile carrier, SK Telecom, is receiving joint offers from foreign video platform operators as it seeks to build an integrated over-the-top (OTT) platform that could compete with Netflix.

"There are a lot of joint offers from foreign video platform operators," SK Telecom (SKT) CEO Park Jung-ho told reporters on Monday. "If realized, user options will be expanded," he said without disclosing any names.

SKT has vowed to launch an integrated OTT platform in the third quarter of this year and act as an advance guard for protecting the domestic OTT market in competition with Netflix. "As we are working together with Comcast, we are getting a joint offer from OTT operators in the opposition camp of Netflix," Park said. He did not elaborate on SKT's work with Comcast, an American telecom giant.

In January, SKT agreed with three major domestic broadcasters to merge their OTT services. The merger of SKT's Oksusu and POOQ was seen as a strategic move to check Netflix, which has gained popularity since its service began in South Korea in 2016. OTT services deliver film or TV drama content over the internet. POOQ has offered free TV streaming services with contents from foreign newsmakers, while Oksusu has focused on e-sports and virtual reality (VR)-based OTT service.

In February, SK Broadband, a fixed broadband subsidiary of SKT, agreed to acquire t-broad, a cable TV operator. If approved by regulators, the merged entity would have 7.68 million subscribers to control 23.8 percent of the pay-TV market. Park said his company would complete the acquisition of t-broad in the fourth quarter of the year.
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