Popular things cost more and are reasoned to be worth the price premium, so said premium would conceivably be doubled if it’s double the popularity to be acquired. News out of China says that upcoming SBS drama Legend of the Blue Sea is reportedly opening the bid for Chinese streaming rights at a whopping half a million per episode, with the $500,000 a pop a big jump over previous pricey buys such as Uncontrollably Fond, K-Bu Bu Jing Xin, and Descendants of the Sun.
All three were pre-produced so the Chinese streaming sites could capitalize on the popular cast and buzzy drama with a simulcast, but the high opening bid for Legend of the Blue Sea is coming up against cold feet from the deep pockets of Chinese streaming sites due to uncertainty about the drama getting airing approval from Chinese authorities. To pay top dollar and not be able to simulcast leads to viewership dilution from likely pirated episodes hitting the streaming sites immediately after it airs in Korea. This may be a problem that the combined Hallyu star power of Jeon Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho can’t overcome.