as we near the end of the summer olympic gamesin rio... it's not too hard not to notice that there haven't been as high of an olympicfever among the korean public as previous olympics or other international sporting eventsheld before. is it the huge time difference between seouland rio... or what? why the mediocre olympic fever this time around?
low today, our news feature tonight with hwang hojun. it became a familiar sight in 2002, when koreahosted football's world cup -- massive crowds cheering in the streets of seoul. in fact, the country's enthusiastic cheeringfor its national team during international
sporting events has attracted a great dealof attention around the world. "we are now down to just a couple more daysuntil the summer olympics in rio de janeiro closes out its 16-day run. this is also when the olympic fervor reachesits peak. well, so has been the case in many previoussummer games. what about rio 2016? we hit the streets of seoul to find out howpeople are enjoying this year's games." "i know the games are happening, but stilli don't really feel the excitement. my friends and i barely talk about the olympics.
my family doesn't really watch the games either." "so i've been in korea for three days now,i think, and i kind of was expecting that people would be gathering in public placesand watching some games. but i haven't seen any of that." one particular mainstay for korean sportsfans whenever the national team competes... is fried chicken. and it's perhaps an indicator of this apparentchange in attitude. on wednesday night, the korean men's tabletennis team faced germany for the bronze medal. the match was set for 11 p.m., korea time,yet there were plenty of empty seats at this
fried chicken restaurant in downtown seoul. "the so-called 'olympic premium' isn't truethis year. the number of customers and delivery requestsis practically the same as before the games." twenty-five minutes into the bronze medalmatch,... and still no one had asked to put on the olympics. "trying to earn money nowadays is exhausting. so, i feel like i'm prioritizing my qualityof life over the athletes competing for korea. it's not like their medals will change mylife." the lack of olympic fervor is also evidentin the record-low ratings for the olympic
tv coverage by korea's three main networks. in the past, ratings for the london and beijingolympics were around 20 to 30 percent. as of tuesday, however, the ratings had barelymade 16 percent. one reason for the low viewership is thatfewer people are staying up late to watch the games live, and more are using mobileapps and online platforms to track the results. "for me, it's enough to just watch the highlightson my smartphone in the morning to get the final results. but lose sleep to watch live? that would have a devastating effect on myroutine the next day."
"user traffic has increased about 150 percentduring the olympics. most users are consuming edited clips of matchhighlights. since it's a mobile platform, not many peopleare looking to watch an entire event." low ratings usually translate into low adrevenues, and considering the networks paid the ioc over 40 million u.s. dollars to broadcastthe olympics, many are expecting losses this year for the networks. some have blamed low viewership on the twelve-hourtime difference between seoul and rio. but according to the experts, it's much morecomplicated. they say the combination of the recent economicslump and high unemployment has young people
focusing more on their own well-being thanon entertainment. in other words, the young don't have timefor the olympics. "you could say the reason people are watchingthe games has changed for the better -- it's purely for entertainment and the love of sport. unless it's a match that they're interestedin, people don't watch just because the korean team might beat another country's team. that's not a good enough reason anymore."
this year, we might not hear the late nightcheering next door... or see neighbors celebrating in the streets,...but in two years time that may change... when
the winter olympics come to pyeongchang. hwang hojun, arirang news.