Disney - SK Telecom JV

SK Telecom and The Walt Disney Company announced during the Seoul Digital Forum a 51/49 JV meant "to Launch Korean-Language Disney Channels in South Korea"*.

Already available in Korea, Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney Channel will develop local content and diversify to new platforms (HD multiplex, SD over cable, IPTV...). Once okayed by the Korea Communications Commission, this partnership shall bear fruits next year.

Disney picked a strong partner : more than a leading operator, SKT is a multimedia and technology powerhouse, a local major with a tradition for exclusive, premium, and even in-house contents. The main question is : will actual innovations come out of this partnership and be rolled out internationally ?

In the common press release, SK Telecom's President and CEO Man-won Jung seems in the mood for this kind of love : "The joint venture with Disney carries significant meaning, especially considering the business environment of nowadays where customers consume content not only through television, but through an array of devices including mobile handsets, laptop computers, and tablet PCs. In the future, by forging a close strategic alliance with Disney, we hope to create more opportunities between the two parties."

But Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International centers the scope around the consumer and Korean local market : "South Korea is one of the most exciting digital media markets in the world. Disney's creativity and innovative content, combined with SK Telecom's leading global expertise in digital media and telecommunications, present a unique offering that meets the growing consumer appetite for quality family entertainment where and when they want it".

Disney has always been a follower in new technologies, embracing them once they've been proven robust, absorbing an expert if necessary. Even if SKT were to fail in altering this tradition, this majority stake definitely confirms its expertise and success as a media, far from its original trade.

mot-bile 2010

* "SK Telecom and The Walt Disney Company Announce Intent to Form a joint Venture to Launch Korean-Language Disney Channels in South Korea" (SK Telecom Press Release - 20100512)

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