South Korean national broadcaster KBS's latest smash-hit TV series has created a huge economic impact by contributing to exports, luring more foreign tourists and creating new jobs, a report showed Friday.
According to the report by the state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea, the direct and indirect economic effects of the KBS 2TV military-romance TV series "Descendants of the Sun" are estimated to hover above 1 trillion won ($880 million).
"Descendants of the Sun" poster (Yonhap)
Partly funded by the state lender, the series starring actor Song Joong-ki and actress Song Hye-kyo is expected to be sold to China, Japan and 30 other countries, with the amount of concluded export deals reaching 7 billion won.
Based on the case of the 2004 smash-hit Korean epic series "Daejanggeum," the report predicted total exports of "Descendants of the Sun" to reach 10 billion won.
"Daejanggeum," which depicts an orphaned cook who goes on to become the king's first female physician, was sold to 87 countries worldwide, earning about 13 billion won.
The report said the KBS drama is projected to lead to indirect exports of cars and other related products worth roughly 300 billion won, while attracting as many as 100,000 foreign tourists.
In addition, "Descendants of the Sun" is likely to create some 590 billion won in induced production and approximately 200 billion won in value added.
The TV series is also predicted to create some 4,500 new jobs, the report added.
"The cultural content industry offers greater added value than other sectors," the bank said. "There is a need to provide more funds to the production of movies as China's entertainment industry expands fast."
The state lender said a 1-percent rise in exports of cultural products is estimated to increase overseas shipments of related consumer goods by 0.03 percent. (Yonhap)