Can K-dramas take off outside Asia?

Can K-dramas take off outside Asia?
SBS' thriller, The Chaser, snagged secondary honours for Best Series at the 8th Seoul International Drama Awards.

SEOUL - In the past few years, K-pop has tapped the hitherto-impenetrable European and American markets with acts like those of rapper Psy, whose single, Gangnam Style, became a universally hot phenomenon.

However, the same could not be said about K-dramas, which both Australian producer Muffy Potter and American Public Television chief executive Cynthia Fenneman agree are still viewed primarily by a limited, specific audience in America and Australia.

"I think the (reason) is that South Korean dramas are of a different length," Ms Fenneman.

According to her, United States television shows run for 42 to 50 minutes, while South Korean dramas average an hour to 70 minutes.

"That would mean editing content," said Ms Fenneman.

Ms Potter said: "The other thing is language."

She noted that, while language would not be an issue in countries where dubbed content is prevalent, selling content to countries that do not share a common language "is probably the biggest obstacle" to the further spread of K-dramas.

Both industry experts are acquainted with K-drama content and were in South Korea for the 8th Seoul International Drama Awards last week.

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