[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 46 (Wednesday, March 11, 2009)]
[Pages 10548-10550]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-5295]



International Trade Administration

Cable Television Trade Mission to South Korea

AGENCY: International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice and call for applications for the Cable Television Trade 
Mission to South Korea, June 3-5, 2009.


Mission Description

    The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade 
Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is organizing a 
Trade Mission to Seoul, South Korea, June 3-5, 2009. The mission will 
provide an excellent venue for U.S. companies to promote their 
television programming content, and broadcasting equipment and 
services. The Korea

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Cable TV Association (KCTA), a pillar in the Korean broadcasting 
industry, and made up of over 100 network providers, has requested this 
trade mission be held in conjunction with their annual KCTA Trade Show, 
where a majority of the Korean network providers will be present and 
looking to purchase program content and broadcasting equipment. The 
participating U.S. companies will meet with Korean Cable TV system 
operators, program providers, and terrestrial TV and Internet protocol 
television (IPTV) service providers during the course of the show.

Commercial Settings

    Korea's economy has recently moved away from a centrally planned, 
government-directed investment model toward a more market-oriented 
system. Korea's economic performance over the past 4 years has remained 
stable, at or above 4%, and currently is at 2%-3%. Korea is the United 
States' seventh-largest trading partner, ranking ahead of larger 
economies such as France, Italy, and India.
    The Korean cable industry's many subsectors present considerable 
potential for growth and export opportunities. Korean cable television, 
launched in 1995, currently has an audience of over 12 million 
households. To date, 103 cable system operators (SOs) are transmitting 
cable TV content throughout the country. Digital terrestrial TV was 
introduced in 2001, with expectations of nationwide coverage by 2010. 
Digital cable TV services were launched in 2004, when the Korean 
National Assembly revised the broadcasting law, also allowing for 
increased foreign investment in Korean SOs and program providers. This 
investment will speed up the deployment of digital cable TV, which in 
turn means increased opportunities for equipment suppliers and program 
    Korean cable TV SOs and program providers are now focused on 
digitizing most of their broadcasting facilities. After the 
introduction of direct-to-home (DTH) services in 2000, the Korea 
Digital Satellite Broadcasting consortium acquired the necessary 
license and launched pay TV services via its DTH satellite platform, 
SkyLife, whose subscribers number more than 1.96 million.
    The Korean cable industry is now discovering that programming 
content is severely lacking, with providers often limited to showing 
amateur videos. Also driving the development of improved digital 
content are new and potentially exclusive channels, basic and premium 
tier channels, plus on-demand content from domestic and foreign program 
suppliers. The business of digital programming and content is made 
highly attractive by significant competition from cable, the rise in 
DTH services, the advent of IPTV, a projection that the digital TV 
universe will be almost all-pay by 2015, and major gains in consumer 
purchases of digital set-top-boxes (STBs).
    Open IPTV will also try to join the industry in the near future. 
IPTV service will trigger strong demand for U.S.-based digital online 
content, a market estimated to have reached USD 180 million this year. 
The Korean Communications Commission is open to selecting more IPTV 
service providers that meet standards for technological expertise and 
business management, boosting opportunities for U.S. companies. The 
shortage of quality content for the growing new service platforms 
represents additional opportunities for already popular U.S. content 
providers, who are currently contributing 70% of Korea's foreign 
programming content. Best prospects for imported programming are in the 
areas of movies, sports, animation, drama and documentaries.
    Market demand for U.S.-based mobile digital content is expected to 
grow by approximately 7% to 8% annually over the next several years, 
driven by digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) service providers. 
Since December 2005, terrestrial providers have moved into DMB, which 
allows viewers to watch TV via a cell phone. The market for terrestrial 
DMB service is forecast to reach USD 730 million by 2010, while that of 
satellite DMB service is expected to grow to USD 640 million. 
Currently, the United States has only a 25% share of this market, but 
its share of the digital content market is at 80% and growing.
    The market for TV broadcasting equipment and services also 
continues to grow. Although equipment is currently being procured 
primarily for terrestrial TV broadcasting, demand for digital equipment 
for cable and satellite TV services is forecast to be very strong over 
the next three to five years. Spending among the multi-station 
operators has increased opportunities for suppliers of digital 
equipment for terrestrial broadcasting. U.S. suppliers of a wide range 
of broadcasting equipment will continue to enjoy significant 
competitive advantages in technology and price. There are also no major 
market access barriers for broadcasting equipment, and most categories 
of equipment enter Korea with an 8% duty based on cost-insurance-
freight (c.i.f.) value.
    The telecom and broadcasting industries are transitioning into a 
new arena by combining each other's technologies in the IPTV services 
market, which is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 8%-9% 
until 2012, when it is projected to reach four million subscribers and 
collect USD one billion in revenue. Acknowledging that the existing 
Internet network does not have the capacity to manage the data traffic 
potentially generated by IPTV services, Korea's largest Internet 
service provider, KT, has embarked upon an ambitious program to connect 
every household in Korea with fiber-to-home services at a cost of USD 
one billion. There are currently 12.7 million Internet using households 
in Korea, representing about 88% of total households in Korea.

Mission Goals

    The Cable Television Trade Mission to South Korea is designed to 
give U.S. firms excellent opportunities to promote their television 
broadcasting content, equipment and services to Korea's broadcasting 
industry. Mission participants will gain direct industry access through 
prearranged business-to-business appointments and networking events. 
They will also receive the most current information on the Korean 
market and available U.S. Government trade financing programs.

Mission Scenario

    The mission will take place in conjunction with the 2009 Korea 
Cable TV Association Trade Show in Seoul, South Korea. The mission will 
include one-on-one business matchmaking appointments with prospective 
agents, distributors, and end-users; updates on major projects; Embassy 
briefings on doing business in Korea; and networking receptions. 
Activities may also include site visits and meetings with local 
government officials, as appropriate. The U.S. and Foreign Commercial 
Service in Seoul will continue to maintain a presence at the KCTA Trade 
Show on Saturday, June 6, and will assist any mission members wishing 
to remain to take advantage of visitor traffic at the show. This 
assistance is offered to the delegation at no additional cost. In 
addition, the timing of the mission will permit interested companies to 
attend a major industry event in China, the Shanghai TV Festival 
(STVF), June 8-12, 2009, should they wish to extend their stay in Asia.

Proposed Timetable

Tuesday, June 2, 2009:
    Arrival in Seoul, South Korea.
    Informal no-host dinner with U.S.

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Commercial Service staff.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009:
    Morning: Briefings by U.S. Embassy staff and local U.S. business 
    Afternoon: One-on-one business appointments at KCTA Trade Show.
    Evening: Networking reception.
Thursday, June 4, 2009:
    One-on-one business appointments at KCTA Trade Show.
Friday, June 5, 2009:
    Morning: One-on-one business appointments at KCTA Trade Show.
    Afternoon: Walk the show floor/Mission concludes.
Saturday, June 6, 2009:
    Bonus day for companies to spend at show on their own, or depart 

Participation Requirements

    All parties interested in participating in the Cable Television 
Trade Mission to Korea must complete and submit an application package 
for consideration by the Department of Commerce. All applicants will be 
evaluated on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy 
the selection criteria as outlined below. A minimum of 6 and maximum of 
10 companies will be selected to participate in the mission from the 
applicant pool. U.S. companies already doing business in Korea as well 
as U.S. companies seeking to enter the Korean market for the first time 
may apply.
    Fees and Expenses:
    After a company has been selected to participate in the mission, a 
payment to the Department of Commerce in the form of a participation 
fee is required. The participation fee will be $3,565 for a large firm 
and $2,375 for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).* The fee for 
each additional firm representative (large firm or SME) is $350. 
Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the 
responsibility of each mission participant. Access to the KCTA trade 
show will be complimentary for participants.

    * An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or 
that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations 
(see http://www.sba.gov/services/contracting opportunities/
sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and 
subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The 
dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service's user fee schedule 
that became effective May 1, 2008 (see http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html for additional information).

    Conditions for Participation:
     An applicant must submit a completed and signed mission 
application and supplemental application materials, including adequate 
information on the company's products and/or services, primary market 
objectives, and goals for participation. If the Department of Commerce 
receives an incomplete application, the application may be rejected, 
additional information may be requested, or the lack of information may 
be taken into account when evaluating the application.
     Each applicant must also certify that the products and 
services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in 
the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm 
and contain at least 51% U.S. content of the value of the finished 
product or service.
    Selection Criteria for Participation: Selection will be based on 
the following criteria:
     Suitability of the company's products or services in the 
Korean market and target sectors
     Applicant's potential for business in Korea, including 
likelihood of exports resulting from the mission
     Consistency of the applicant's goals and objectives with 
the stated scope of the trade mission
    Referrals from political organizations and any documents containing 
references to partisan political activities (including political 
contributions) will be removed from an applicant's submission and not 
considered during the selection process.

Timeframe for Recruitment and Applications

    Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, 
and on a first come first serve basis. Outreach will include 
publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce Department 
trade mission calendar (http://www.ita.doc.gov/doctm/tmcal.html) and 
other Internet Web sites, press releases to general and trade media, 
direct mail, broadcast fax, notices by industry trade associations and 
other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, 
conferences, and trade shows. The International Trade Administration 
will explore and welcome outreach assistance from other interested 
organizations, including other U.S. Government agencies.
    Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and will close 
on April 24, 2009. Applications are available on-line on the mission 
Web site at http://www.export.gov/ICTkoreamission. They can also be 
obtained by contacting the Mission Project Officer listed below. 
Applications received after April 24, 2009, will be considered only if 
space and scheduling constraints permit.
    Contact: Ms. Karen Dubin, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, 
DC 20230, Tel: 202-482-3786/Fax: 202-482-9000, e-mail: 
[email protected].

    Dated: March 6, 2009.
Karen Dubin,
CS Trade Missions, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC.
[FR Doc. E9-5295 Filed 3-10-09; 8:45 am]