North Korean state broadcaster launches Netflix-style service

KCTVNorth Korean state broadcaster Korea Central Television (KCTV) has reportedly launched its own internet-delivered OTT TV service.

According to press reports, a new internet set-top box, called Manbang (Everywhere), will give access to five linear channels including KCTV’s flagship service, Mansudae Television and Ryongnamsan TV, as well as providing access to content from state newspaper Rodong Sinmun and other sources. It will also feature information about the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un and the leadership’s Juche philosophy.

According to NK News, the box will also give viewers access to Netflix-type functionality by allowing them to search for content and browse categories including video-on-demand content.

KCTV reportedly told viewers that the could connect the box to the country’s national network via high-speed modem. The service will reportedly be available in Pyongyang, Sinuiju, North Phyongan and Sariwon in North Hwanghae Province.

One challenge for potential North Korean OTT TV consumers is the country’s lack of infrastructure. The country has virtually no public internet infrastructure and only a few thousand government approved citizens have the use of a closed version of the internet that gives access to a limited number of state-sanctioned websites.

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