KBS1, the premier channel of the Korean Broadcasting System, previously known as KBS Television/KBS Channel 9 until the launch of KBS2 in 1980, is the oldest TV channel in South Korea and was the successor to HLKZ-TV (or Daehan Bangsong), Korea’s first TV channel. It is also the only non-commercial free-to-air television channel in the country.

KBS1 was once known for being one of the first commercial TV stations in South Korea. But in 1963, the South Korean government through its parliament, introduced the Television License Fee system. Advertisements on KBS1 were abolished in 1994. KBS 1TV began 24-hour broadcasting on October 8, 2012.

The channel is well known for its news, culture, as well as sports.


KBS1 is the home of most news and current affairs programs being produced by KBS, as well as primetime daily dramas and weekend historical and literature series. It also airs current affairs shows.

KBS1 has musical variety shows, but unlike most commercial stations which air it on a live basis, most KBS1 musical shows are either recorded or broadcast live for special occasions. The only live music program shown on this channel is Korea Sings, a talent contest is currently shown today.


Since 1994, KBS1 is solely funded by license fees.

Although commercial advertisements are not allowed on the channel, KBS1 accepts spot advertisements similar to the ones being used by PBS to generate private funding. This is usually implemented for programs such as public affairs and musical variety shows wherein, the show’s host/s will only thank the sponsor’s brand name but will not promote it directly.

Spot advertisements for KBS1 shows appear before the show’s end credits.


KBS1 had stopped accepting ads since 1994, and is prohibited to air commercial advertisements due to the revised Broadcasting Act, but is allowed to show public service ads of government agencies, most of which are from KOBACO, which lost its monopoly on TV advertising in May 2012.

Instead, they show program previews for this channel and from their sister channels and public messages from the Government.

These ads are often shown before the station ident is shown, or if the ident isn’t shown, before the program starts.