Four of the X Factor Eurovision judges – Aviv Geffen, Margalit Tzanani, Miri Mesika and Neta Barzilai – make a surprise appearance at Nahalat Binyamin in Tel Aviv, while dressed up as characters from "Squid Game"/Network 13
The legal battle over splitting the costs of using SK began in 2020, when the Korean telecommunications company began demanding Netflix help cover its streaming traffic expenses, which it said grew due to the psychic popularity of Netflix's hit series "Squid Game" in South Korea.
Netflix filed a countersuit and since then, the two sides have been embroiled in a legal dispute with the question at its center being whether content providers who generate large amounts of traffic should pay for the use of web traffic, or is it a violation of neutrality, which will lead to higher costs for consumers.
While the question is worth discussing, the fact that the trial took place in South Korea didn't really help Netflix and the court ruled that it had to pay for the network's increased demands. SK estimated at the time that the popular show cost it KRW 27.2 billion, which then translated to $23 million. Is this a realistic sum or did SK simply see an opportunity and seize it?
After all, we must remember that this is 2020, a year in which citizens all over the world sat at home and were confined to the screen. With all due respect to "Squid Game," it's hard to point to it as a major cause of the increase in web traffic.
The deal that impoverished the creator of "Squid Game"
On the face of it, Netflix seems to have fallen victim to a successful method, but further digging into the details reveals a different picture. Although the series grossed more than $900 million, the creator of the series, a Korean named Hwang Dong-hyuk, received very little compensation and reportedly still suffers from financial difficulties.
In a 2021 interview with The Guardian, the creator revealed, "I'm not that rich, but I have enough. I have enough to put food on the table. And it's not like Netflix paid me a bonus. Netflix paid me according to the original contract."
In fact, Dong-hyuk just made a bad deal. Selling the series he created to the streaming platform as a one-time deal left him without a penny of the show's huge profits. In addition, he also waived intellectual property rights related to Squid Game as a concept. Despite winning an Emmy for the first season and planning to return for the second season as director and executive producer, Dong-hyuk's financial benefits are still limited by the original agreement signed.
In response to the Dong-hyuk reports, Netflix issued a laconic statement saying it pays "extremely fair and competitive rates" to its content creators and that "these standards comply with or exceed Korean law."
Maybe that's why SK Broadband wanted to take revenge on Netflix and recoup Korea's lost profit. And playing on her home turf, with millions of Koreans behind her, there was no doubt she would win. But then came a plot twist.
Netflix and SK Announce Partnership
In a joint statement earlier this week, Netflix, SK Broadband and parent company SK Telecom said they were dropping all claims against each other and starting a new partnership in which they would offer integrated service packages and look for ways to leverage AI technologies developed by SK Telecom and SK Broadband.
"The collaboration allows Netflix to enhance entertainment experiences for a wider Korean audience," said Netflix VP of Partnerships Tony Zemczkowski.
"The partnership is part of SK's philosophy where customer value is a top priority," said Choi Hwansuk, VP of corporate strategy at SK Telecom, adding: "We will continue to evolve into an AI company and work together with different players internally and externally."
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So what did we learn from this story?
There may be details we don't know in this story, but from where I look, the conclusion that emerges is that Netflix has fallen victim to blackmail. In the same breath, the dirty trick she did for Dong-yuk represents everything that's bad about corporations, so maybe she deserved it a little. But the bottom line is that Netflix came out cheap because, in any case, it only has something to gain from such a partnership. And that, gentlemen, is the true power of forgiveness.
- More on the subject:
- Squid Game
- South Korea
- TV series