Walter Disney Company Korea CEO Oh Sang-ho, center, speaks during an online press conference on Oct. 14. On his right is Jay Trinidad, general manager of the direct-to-consumer division in Disney’s Asia-Pacific region. Photo courtesy of Walter Disney Company Korea

U.S. entertainment giant pledges to cooperate with ISPs in Korea

Walter Disney Company promised to cooperate with South Korea’s internet service providers in launching its over-the-top streaming services later this year.

Jay Trinidad, general manager of the direct-to-consumer division in Disney’s Asia-Pacific region, made the point on Oct. 14 during an online press conference.

His remarks came at a time when Netflix is going through legal disputes with SK Broadband, one of the country’s major internet service providers.

This June, a Seoul court ruled against Netflix, effectively confirming that the U.S. video streaming should pay its network usage fee to SK Broadband.

Complaining Netflix does not comply with the court verdict, SK Broadband filed a separate lawsuit early this month to seek compensation from Netflix.

Thus far, SK Broadband has claimed that heavy network users like Netflix are required to share costs necessary to operate nationwide network traffic.

A Netflix Korea representative told the Korea News Plus that it would try to find a way to collaborate with SK Broadband and its users, without speaking in detail.

“By proactively cooperating with internet service providers of Korea, Disney will be able to differentiate itself from Netflix,” HMC Investment & Securities analyst Kim Hyun-yong said.

“Disney’s business model is almost the same as Netflix. As Disney comes to town, Netflix may have to sweat.”

Disney is scheduled to offer its Disney+ streaming services in South Korea on Nov. 12 to challenge the dominance of Netflix in the country’s OTT market.

Korean customers will be able to enjoy content from such Disney brands as Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic.

Toward that ends, the company has joined hands with local telecom operators, including KT and LG Uplus.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.