Legend of the Blue Sea Reportedly Asking for $500,000 Per Episode Sale Price in China


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.



Legend of the Blue Sea Reportedly Asking for $500,000 Per Episode Sale Price in China — 15 Comments

  1. They can still simulcast since they have already shoot more then half of the drama. shooting since august.. plently of time for edit or view before releasing

    • I think they can’t simulcast in China because Chinese authorities require the show to be fully produced before they will give airing approval. And LOTBS is scheduled to air on SBS in 2 weeks’ time.

  2. Seeing what happened with Saimdang, and how it got pushed into next year because of the Chinese censors (allegedly) I just don’t know how the pre-production thing is gonna end up working now. The Korean airing station has said they will air Saimdang I believe Feb 2017 regardless of what they determine in China. I assume bad blood due to THAAD probably continues.

    I’m sure LOTBS deserves some serious $$ per episode just based on the writer of MLFAS as well as the two big stars. I’m interested to see how this goes down and if geopolitical concerns continue to come into play.

  3. That whole THAAD thing might be just a cover to rid itself of Korea influence in that part of the region. In any case, I don’t think the Chinese government is too keen on Koreans giving a fair view of how a free society behaves. It’s a type of influence that the Communist government would consider subversive.

    In any case, the rampant piracy in that country is not going to stop the Chinese from viewing Korean Dramas. The only people who will lose out in the end is the legitimate websites.

  4. 500k and no simulcast is asking for a bit too much no matter how big the stars are.

    If this had been pre produced it would have been more reasonable to ask for that.

    • I doubt it will bomb with this writer and PD. But SBS definitely wants that China money as a safety net anyway. I don’t know how they expect to get it without simulcast though, also this is not pre produced.

      • I also thought SBS wants safety net. MLSHR bombed pretty bad, I know the cast, PD are different but you never know if lady luck is by your side or has shunned you yet again. Add to that THAAD. Let’s see China is crazy for Lee Min Ho but still not possible I guess.
        Also Looki at current shows that do well and the trend, star power and excellent PD automatically do not translate well into success any more. So being cautious is a good thing.

  5. Not a crazy fan of this writer though. Her dramas are good but not to the point unforgettable to me. I can’t even remember what MLFAS and Producer are about mostly, just remembering pieces of narratives here and there. I’ll watch mainly for the OTP. Of course, star power, and I believe that’s why it’s asked for such a high price.

  6. Moon Lovers was bought at $400,000 per episode. I could understand because it was a complex production. But for story about a mermaid for $500,000, I wonder if it’s worth it? Seem these big stars with average acting skills are pretty much overrated.

  7. Lee Min Ho’s dating scandal I think will cost his drama’s rating in Korea. Fingers crossed that will not happen. But there were many drama’s which were underrated due to stars dating scandal.

  8. I don’t know much about the money thing, all I’m hoping for is this drama to be good. Lately there has been too many dramas that were over rated and turned out poor. So I wish this one luck:)

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