Boosted by the Asiawide popularity of Korean soaps known as "hallyu," a new South Korean drama starring actress Jang Nara has set a sale record for Korean TV series released online in China, local industry sources said Friday.
The online transmission rights for the MBC drama series "Fated to Love You" were recently sold for $120,000 (120 million won) per episode, three times higher than the $40,000 per episode for "My Love from the Star," which recently reignited a fever for Korean TV series in China.
Last year, the rights for "The Heirs," an SBS TV drama starring actor Lee Min-ho, were sold for $30,000 per episode.
Since the huge success of "My Love from the Star," China's market for broadcasting Korean dramas on the Internet, in particular for those featuring hallyu stars, has experienced fast growth, pushing up the sale prices for such dramas over the past six months, according to the sources.
For instance, the per-episode price for "Three Days," starring Park Yoo-chun, was $50,000 while "Doctor Stranger," starring Park Hae-jin, received $80,000 per episode, they said.
"Fated to Love You" is a romantic comedy about the things that happen to Lee Gun (played by actor Jang Hyuk), the only heir of a conglomerate-owner family, and Kim Mi-young (played by Jang Nara), an ordinary office girl who got pregnant from a one-night stand.
Industry experts say "Fated to Love You" will likely become as popular as "My Love from the Star" because it is based on a popular Taiwanese TV soap series and has Jang Nara, a Korean star who is highly popular among Chinese people, as its lead actress.
"As the fever of South Korean dramas is so high in China, we expect the prices of transmission rights to keep rising for the time being," an MBC official said, requesting not to be named. (Yonhap)