Hyde, Jekyll Me Inks License for China Streaming at Comparable Sale Price to Pinocchio

SBS must be letting out a giant sigh of relief, and clearly all the other networks are watching as well because the entire mess with the online streaming licensing in China for the last two months affects the entire K-drama industry. A short refresher – China’s SARFT agency which regulates press, publication, radio, film and television issued a decree that starting in 2015 all online streaming of overseas shows much go through the same approval process as Chinese shows that air on television, which means submitting the entire completed show with subs to SARFT for review and approval.

This has caused popular overseas programming such as K-dramas and US shows to be unable to live-stream starting last month in January 2015, effectively slowing down the consumption the spread of entertainment pop culture for Chinese viewers. There was talk that the bidding prices to license K-dramas took a major tumble as the Chinese online portals slashed prices since it couldn’t live-air a show anymore. But the first Chinese license of a K-drama in 2015 just went through with Hyde, Jekyll, Me getting comparable to what Pinocchio sold for late last year. SBS stuck to its gun, and on the power of Hyun Bin’s popularity as well as the continued buzz and interest in the Mandarin-speaking regions for this drama, the drama is getting a financial breather in the end.

The news article also confirmed that Hyun Bin’s star power in Japan remains no joke and Hyde, Jekyll, Me has also sold to Japan for network airing to start shortly after the drama ends its run in Korea. Last month Kill Me Heal Me also sold for network airing in Japan but is still in talks for online licensing in China. I think Hyde probably sold for more than it deserves based solely on Binnie’s star power, but at the same time the low balling prices in late December was never going to happen since if the entire K-drama industry stuck to its gun then nothing was going to get licensed to China unless it was a reasonable price. Basically lower than the skyrocketing license fees of last year, which takes into account an earlier recoup of investment due to the live-airing, but higher than the rock bottom rates since a few months delay is not a deal breaker and is basically going back to the way things were before live-streaming in China started happening the last two years or so.


Hyde, Jekyll Me Inks License for China Streaming at Comparable Sale Price to Pinocchio — 44 Comments

  1. yeah for Binne’s star power, proving naysayers wrong who claimed that Binne isnt as hot as young actor such as LJS in China and Japan

    • This is beyond mockery to compare him to another actor who works hard not for the money but for the craft. Read LJS’s interviews.

      • Wow are you saying he’s working only for money AND not good at his craft? And that the other actor works not for money but his craft?

        That’s life my friend. Don’t kid yourself

      • LOL oookay. LJS works for his craft and Hyun Bin for the money. Truth is, the former has no other choice but to work on his craft. Binnie is gifted and can act all those LJS roles his sleep.

        Not ‘hating’; merely stating the disparity between abilities of the two actors you just compared.

      • @Stardust if he works more for his craft why was he lured by sbs with that script in episode1 we can sense that drama will be a future train wreck, and he was offer KMHM first. Is it because of what better script??? I’m not saying that he is not a good actor, he won Baeksang for heaven’s sake. I’m just saying he have priorities and that is money.

    • But “his star” power can’t save this drama from failure rating while lee jong suk could bring viewers until the end despite of mess happened in doctor stranger, lmao

      So, who’s better?
      HJM will just be another dark memories in hyun bin career as an actor whether it’s sold with high price or not.

      • yes as an actor I’m sure he will be more happy hearing his drama increases it’s rating rather than having high price or whatever.
        I don’t understand to his fans saying they don’t care the rating lol, because it will affect his future career

      • Ok I don’t want to snark but you make me do this.
        I’m sure dr stranger was also a high point in his career then. Such “high quality” writing really blew my mind.
        Truth is, you are comparing apples to oranges. LJS is young and upcoming. He’s talented and have a great future if managed well. Hyun bin is well..like a bottle of good wine. Maybe not to your taste but that’s fine. Lots of us savor the taste. It’s get better with age.

    • it is still a gamble because how his star power after his drama aired

      people can watch or getting news from many source and they not riding a good news but then SBS have a good line drama that loved and actually they tried since last year if I remember

    • Your link is for “you from another star”
      I read Chinese so that’s pretty correct.
      YFAS was a megahit for china. Practically I think Kim soo hyun made more money in one episode of one Chinese variety show he was a featured guest star than he ever did in all his dramas from his career combined.

    • Declaring China wants to see more of Ji Sung than Hyun Bin when the selling price for KMHM (which aired way earlier than HJM) isn’t even settled? Lol I’d wait for the official numbers before making claims lest I get embarrassed in the end. But I’m not you, so fire on.

      • The price paid has nothing to do with what people want. I am sure huyn bin got paid more than ji sung for doing their respective shows, but the public want to see Ji sung’s show more. If we go by what people want Hyun bin needs a pay cut and Ji sung a pay raise.

        Again I am just going by the search ranking. And Ji sung is winning by a mile.

      • KMHM/Ji Sung might be ahead in search rankings which – yay for them and you. Congrats! But unfortunately those numbers are yet to translate in actual financial money for the network or the production the way HJM and Hyun Bin already has.

        When/if it does and for some reason get higher than HJM, then it’s more plausible to declare the public in fact wants to see Ji Sung over Hyun Bin. Until then, I’ll believe in the dough rather than ‘search rankings’.

    • Er, no K-drama in the foreseeable future ought to get licensed more than Pinocchio since the live-airing advantage is gone. That’s probably the cap and everything from now on is below it and the amount depends on the stars and the network clout.

    • I greatly hope so,
      they get lot of trouble and riding bad luck before the drama aired,
      it will be good to have the license too,
      thanks for the crew that work hard to aired this drama
      because the drama is kinda disappear at some point

  2. Thank you koala for the update.
    I supposed it means good news that SBS still have the $$$ to continue what they are doing to make the drama better?
    It’s working for me now, slowly still but heading in the right direction…who knows what happening behind the scenes, maybe they got a whole team of ghost writers or emergency meetings after every rating announcement. Whatever it is, these people have hope of getting paid! Which is great as Show is much better than without them.

  3. I say :

    Yah for the casting & crew who deserve that money for working in such conditions and have to pick up the pieces behind SBS.

    Nah for SBS and their incompetence who doesn’t deserve this at all.

  4. I’m pretty happy for the cast and crew. The drama is getting better and Binnie’s popularity is undeniable so I’m glad the drama is bought out with such a high price. If it was a better drama, it would be breaking records but oh well. Binnie can come back with another one soon 😉

  5. No one knows the official price it was sold for tho. HJM articles just have roundabout wordings stating it sold similar to Pinocchio & other dramas. HJM team are probably just trying to save face and media play after disastrous ratings. I will believe it when I see the official numbers. I mean, last numbers circulating were 1/3 of Pinocchio and I’m not so sure Hyun Bin’s star power in china is enough to make the prices jump higher than that. KMHM is getting so much better chinese responses anyway.

  6. The K-drama train has no signs of stopping so it’s silly for the Chinese online video portals to way underbid now just because of the live-airing restriction. Pissing off SBS (and KBS, MBC) now bodes poorly for the future when there are buzzy dramas coming down the pipeline. And in terms of the three networks, SBS dramas remain the overall most popular in China in recent years with YFAS, Heirs, IHYV, Pinocchio, It’s Okay It’s Love, and even that turd My Lovely Girl. SBS dramas have that combination of watchable (for the most part) and star power, more so than the other networks.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Hyde, Jekyll, Me does really well in online viewing once it starts airing in China. I may find it totally underwhelming but my standards are NOT the standards of the average viewer who just want something fun to watch with pretty people onscreen. HJM delivers that at least, it’s fun in a stupid way and the natural pretty onscreen is off the charts. The price paid for HJM will probably be worth it in the long run even if I laugh at crap selling for diamonds all on account of Hyun Bin. Go Binnie LOL~

    I also wonder if the online license now is bundled with the China TV airing rights, it would make sense to do that since online now needs to go through SARFT approval as well. If SARFT approves for online airing then it ought to be approved for network airing, it’s the same process and I’m certain SARFT checks for all the same guidelines. Right now The Moon Embraces the Sun is finally being aired in Chinese television (after 4 years) and is doing really well (more Kim Soo Hyun love coming). Maybe it’ll all be two-fers now. Who knows.

    • To be honest, it’s not so silly for drama portals to underbid because by the time they get to air the drama, most people would have already watched it through some other means. The view count they get will decrease substantially, so it makes sense for them to bid lower since they get less advertising revenue. And anyway, the prices for K-dramas are ridiculously expensive. There were reports that FTLY sold for a record price (USD120k per episode), and shortly after MLG sold for a record price again (USD200k per episode), and following that Pinocchio (USD280k per episode). Note the price jumps which are simply outrageous. And really, MLG wasn’t even popular in China; everyone thought it was sh*t. The average viewers have standards as well. If people can’t bear to watch HJM in South Korea, clearly it’s not going to resound with the Chinese audience very well too. Of course, it’s suspect that HJM actually did sell for a price ~USD280k per ep, it depends on SBS’s definition of “comparable” here. I’d expect them to release the figures if it is indeed true.

      • HJM poor ratings is a combination of factors- one of the key being the repetition of DID in a same time slot against a better KMHM. Everything is always relative. Put an average drama in a bunch of poor dramas it becomes stellar and an average drama next to an excellent one it looks poor. What’s worse they are wooing the same target audience. Those who don’t care for humor or romance or DID won’t bother with both and that’s evident in the ratings for KMHM that is pretty average also. Granted it’s first in it’s time slot but at 11-13%, it’s not a mass market success. Of course HJM is worse and that’s case study material for SBS.
        but all these do not prelude the drama from success in overseas airing.
        Plus online viewing is only a small drop in the ocean for Chinese viewers. The potential is in the masses. And I can see why HJM is still not a bad buy. It’s completely serviceable. the sets and scenes are pretty, the star power evident. Hyun bin is very fondly remembered for Kim sam soon and secret garden. And han Ji min for rooftop prince. Plus overall despite all critiques, it is still entertaining watch. I may diss abt it not being great but I’d be able to watch it easily with popcorn on weekend nights for some relaxed viewing- a male lead that you can root for, nice eye candy, laughs plus add in revenge mojo, it’s easy watching. esp if you don’t have to choose one over the other.

      • @Stardust,

        When a drama is sold to China, I assume (extremely reasonably) that it’s sold to a video hosting portal, so online views are everything. People who watched it already probably won’t watch it again, since we all know that it’s at best a mediocre drama. People who haven’t likely will not as well because of all the criticisms floating around. It’s not a drama you’ll recommend. The buzz for the it was greatest when it just aired and after that pretty much nothing. I just don’t think they’ll be able to get much value from this deal.

      • @kitai
        Contrary to that, the buzz for HJM have been pretty steady in the Chinese sites. I visit them and see the fair share of supporters for BOTH hyun bin and Han Ji min. (Yes han Ji min does have a very active Chinese fan base who actually sent a food truck to the filming site recently as support. I’m confused but yeah she’s apparently popular..)
        Based on interest alone, the streaming sites that uploads the Chinese translated videos hours after broadcast, HJM have total more views than KMHM for each episode.
        It is just how it is.
        Obviously material wise, KMHM is the better show. I don’t dispute that. But HJM is hardly unwatchable, it’s mediocre but mediocre in a “pretty” way. And it sure beats a lot of other mediocre cringe worthy dramas in china.

        Also to be honest, at the halfway mark I won’t be writing off the drama so soon. – it’s bystander support, there are many people who watch the drama, diss and yawn, have heated discussions on what they will do if THEY were the writer or PD, skip a episode here and there and then come back for another taste. This drama have the fortune of goodwill, maybe it’s hyun bin who delivers consistently and is turning up the heat, maybe it’s the unmet potential of the story premise. Or Maybe it’s just the atrocity of a bad writer screwing everyone up. Whatever it is, that IS buzz. A bad drama-one just drop it like a hot potato and never look back. One that elicit discussion hoping that is will be better is never too bad.

        And the drama have been doing the right changes and improving IMO, I’m liking what I see and there will be others who will too if they keep it up. If they don’t, it’s still a spectacular train wreck. Both ways, it’s pretty discussion friendly lol

        I wouldn’t worry abt value for these
        Chinese business. That money is
        Peanuts to them. It’s a long term working strategy with the korean broadcasters.
        like it or not, this drama will hardly be a blip for sbs or to hyun bin career. Sbs have made great hits,
        They will have another one. Hyun bin acquits himself professionally with great acting, hardly any negative review of the drama had anything bad to say of him. He will have another chance of a hit drama, another fan meeting, another film. People say “next time Binnie” and not “no more next time” it’s the same for SBS.

      • @Stardust,

        I’m just talking about the drama itself, not about SBS, not about Hyun Bin and I haven’t even mentioned KMHM in my comments.

        I see the buzz for HJM, the “ratings are falling again”, “the scriptwriter needs to do something”, the “it’s a waste of HB” buzz. They are kind of negative though. How many people will actually recommend HJM to someone who wants to watch a K-drama over all the other options available?

        I’m not trying to doubt your statistics here, but I haven’t watched KMHM or HJM past the 2nd episode, so I have no idea if what you say is true about the view count. However, since these sites are technically not allowed to publicise the fact that they are hosting the subbed videos, and from what I know people normally download the episodes instead of viewing them online, I have no idea which streaming site you got the numbers from and I don’t think they are a valid gauge of HJM’s international popularity anyway. Plus it’s not as if its relative popularity against KMHM is a good reason for it to be sold at a high price. I never said that KMHM should sell for higher did I?

        On the topic of value for money, we’re talking about business here. It makes no sense for Chinese video portals to fork out more money when they are definitely going to make less revenue. The Korean broadcasting stations should also recognise that. Do they expect the online portals to bid like they used to now that the new regulations are in place? I would sure as hell underbid. At the very least it should be lower than what they use to pay. Clearly, there is a mutualistic relationship between the two parties. If no one takes up the rights, the broadcasting stations get nothing. If the video sites don’t get the license, they lose profits. So really, if the video portals are willing to quote a reasonable price, the broadcasting stations should take it. All in the name of building “a long term working relationship”. You can’t expect such efforts to be unilateral.

  7. SBS dramas always does well in China compared to other network.im even suprised that Birth of a beauty was quite popular in China.Pinocchio and Birth of a beauty were the only kdrama that always made it to top 10 in tudou,the former always being one in both youku and tudou.look at youku,SBS dramas are leading for the most viewed kdrama on youku in all time;Pinocchio,Heirs,DS,IHYV,MS and MLG.i wouldn’t be suprised if they bought HJM for such a high price

  8. I guess it’s sort of validation to see the drama you love sell for more $$$.. Just the whole Hyun Bin vs Ji Sung thing is crazy. I love both and naturally Hyun Bin’s show would sell for more. Star power alone is huge selling point.

    Ji Sung is awesome but not popular overseas in the same way. I know he deserves some love, I’ll be happy if he gets popular overseas regardless of how much the rights sold for at this point.

    • You pay for star power when you have to go by their name to decide future viewership and interest. But when you have verifiable data to show which show will bring in the most viewers, which shows consumers want to see the most, you don’t have to guess anymore. From a business point of view it will be malpractice on MBC’s part to accept 1 penny less than Pinocchio. If they can’t get same or higher the head honcho at MBC should fire their negotiating staff no questions asked. They suck at their job.

  9. nice, good for them!! agree, ji sung is a good actor (no doubt) but hyun bin’s star power (and acting) is NO joke. wish the best for both HJM and KMHM…. also go binnie!!!

  10. I don’t understand why this had to turn into a Binnie vs Ji Sung thing. I love JI Sung – I’ve mentioned before he was in my first favorite kdrama (STLDFM) and I have loved his acting ever since that drama aired, hands down. It’s been a very long time. On the flip side, I’ve watched almost all of Binnie’s drama and acknowledged his very good acting skills but personally didn’t find myself a fan or even loved his acting one way or another. That is until I watched Hajina. It’s a little ridiculous that this is the crappy drama that really captivated me after 10+ yrs but it is what it is. Why can’t both of the actors be successful? In korea, it’s clear that KMHM is winning in the ratings. Is there any more validation that is needed vs HJM? I’m enjoying both.

    Well, then lucky SBS. Hope they pull through financially internationally. That’s for sure. This shotty writer(s) & SBS have better be thanking their lucky stars that star power seems to have saved their butts. As much I love HJM, I still want the drama to improve. Darn it!!

    • it is undeniable, even drama that just popular get compared
      not to mention how both of them have similar core plot and aired at the same time
      so everyone who looked at drama fan site either for KMHM or HJM will find the other news and hard not to compare when one show a total enjoyment when people criticize it 1st and the other shows something that not many feel attached to it which is also shown in comment section, beside international fans can catch both episode at the next day, so the comparison is always there, funny though ji sung consider have smaller fan base, when I always believe he is doing total every time and I don’t want to compare it to HB because I just didn’t follow him that well

      well, I hope drama channel should just avoid this thing in the future, or they like it for the news

  11. Don’t get why all the articles related to HJM have to turn into a HJM VS KMHM. It’s so freaking annoying. I’m watching both and enjoying both for different reasons. Do people really have to take side? Just enjoy the show you’re watching.

    At the end of the year, Ji Sung will attend the MBC drama awards and Hyun Bin the SBS drama awards. No needs to fight.

    • Someone here mentioned the same thing you said and I googled Ji sung and typed the letter V and autocomplete finished the rest. It is a battle so famous that google knows about it. XD

      I am a fan of Hyun bin. I have seen my name is sam soon, snow queen, secret garden, the world within. Kill me heal me is my first Ji sung drama ever. But the moment I set my eyes on him I knew I was watching a hallyu star being born. You are only as good as your last picture. Right now Ji sung’s stock is rising and Hyun bin’s is falling. It should not annoy anyone to acknowledge the obvious.

      And you are right hyn bin will get some kind of award at the end of the year. So Don’t cry for him Argentina.

    • One drama was hyped up before its premiere, the other was branded a definite flop. Surprise! The real ratings bust turned out to be HJM. But after it became obvious that KMHM was going to outshine HJM in both domestic and international popularity, HJM fans constantly try to shy away from comparison.

      I wouldn’t be so offended. Personally, if my bias stars in a bad drama, I’ll be the first one to jump out and say it’s crap. Most of my fellow fans are chill about me criticizing the drama and they’ll continue to watch it as a show of support. No one gets mad when others say the drama is sh*t, we’ll admit it ourselves (and well, just sugar coat the bad parts a little).

      Anyway, this “discussion” is great fun for neutrals like me.

    • the news tend to use Hyun Bin and ji sung name instead of his character or the shows name on rating result every week or just news regarding to both of their development

      or maybe because HB fans is supported KMHM when the news he is starred 1st and continue to said that KMHM won’t get lead because he rejected it on most KMHM news before air

  12. Good for the casts and staffs of HJM. That drama is a joke but their hard work is getting paid off. However, I hope that the writer of HJM will seriously stop writing forever or at least get some help before continuing on as a writer. She should take alot of lessons from the writer of “Punch”. Anyone know how much “Punch” was sold overseas? Seriously, that drama is way better than HJM in terms of quality and acting.

  13. finally, I think they already wanted to sold last year with rumor high price but suddenly the rating happen to be low
    and they finally succeed, hope it can contribute to the drama (or too late for budgeting circus? I wanna see that)

    also it is good move that KMHM is sold to Japan 1st, I think they aired March or just after it ends,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.