Descendants of the Sun is more than just drawing attention and interest to South Korean culture. It is also, in its own way, helping boost the South Korean market overseas.
The show will hit Japanese airwaves in June, a source reveals. According to Yonhap News, Descendants of the Sun will premiere in Japan on Japanese satellite TV channel Eisei Gekijo. The broadcasting rights for the Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo starrer was sold for over AU$120,000 per episode. The deal was sealed in March.
This marks a positive development for South Korean drama series in Japan since Japanese broadcasting companies have been hesitant to spend on Korean shows in the last three years. Soompi reports that the fall of Korean dramas in Japan started in 2012 when Jang Geun-suk’s Love Rain failed to meet expectations after having been bought for over AU$380,000 per episode. Since then, export prices for dramas fell below the AU$120,000 mark.
Descendants of the Sun has lifted the South Korean drama scene from that slump.
“Because it stars Hallyu actress Song Hye-Kyo and recently discharged Song Joong-Ki, as well as having a positive response that it is entertaining, the drama had an increasingly expensive price tag, and the competition among buyers became fiercer,” an industry representative stated.
The heartwarming military-themed romantic story from KBS 2TV drama series has created an army of loyal followers worldwide. The drama is also currently being broadcast in Hong Kong through Viu TV.
Hyundai Motor Co. also revealed that it has received increasing inquiries from China regarding its Genesis sedan which was featured in one of Song Dae Young (Jin Goo) and Yoon Myeong-joo’s (Kim Ji-won) kissing scenes. The self-driving abilities of the Hyundai Genesis were shown in that particular scene, and it has piqued buyers’ interest.
“I would like to have a car that can go by itself like I saw in the show,” 23-year-old Grace Wang told Straits Times. “It is so cool.”
Descendants of the Sun garnered over 2.6 billion views in China through video streaming site iqiyi.com.