|LeeStarTV content creator and commentator duo Lee Ju-heon, right, and Park Jong-yoon pose during an interview with The Korea Times at the LeeStarTV office in Seoul, Wednesday. / Korea Times photo by Jhoo Dong-chan|
An increasing number of people are watching YouTube content over terrestrial TV programs. In particular, the younger generation is now spending more time in front of computer monitors and less time in front of TV screens.
YouTube football channel LeeStar TV creator duo Lee Ju-heon and Park Jong-yoon broadcast commentaries on K League as well as foreign football games for SPOTV, a South Korean pay station, before setting up their YouTube channel.
"We didn't really know each other when we were with SPOTV. One day, we happened to commentate on a football game together on my AfreecaTV channel about five years ago, and I decided to create football-related content with Jong-yoon," Lee said during an interview with The Korea Times. AfreecaTV is a P2P technology-based video streaming platform in Korea.
The duo quit SPOTV in 2015, and started producing football-related video content on various media platforms including YouTube and AfreecaTV.
Unlike conventional commentaries, Lee and Park show somewhat emotional responses when covering live football matches similar to how football enthusiasts react in the stadium. They often scream and chant, and sometimes they jump around.
"I have been a huge Arsenal fan since I was a middle school student. I wrote a ton of comments on various football community posts here such as soccerline.co.kr. I also operated the nation's largest Arsenal fan community called Highbury," said Park.
"I sometimes quarreled with other team fans for almost entire days. I know what it is like to be a football fan."
Lee, who was once a professional football player for Daejeon Korail, said they focus more on entertaining the fans.
"There are genius commentators in the market, like Han Joon-hee and Jang Ji-hyun. They introduce in-depth strategies and theories behind each team's football philosophy. They have been in the business for decades," he said.
"It's almost impossible to become a commentator like them. So, I thought to myself, I should feature a different kind of competitiveness in the football commentary business. I believe it's my job to entertain football fans rather than trying to provide expertise."
Lee also established a reputation for his continuous inaccurate predictions about important matches. Some football fans labeled Lee as a "jinx," claiming a football team always loses when Lee says something good about them.
Football fans also love to watch Park talking about his longtime favorite team Arsenal as he sometimes takes comments about the team's recent performance too personally.
Arsenal won the English Premier League and were unbeaten in the 03-04 season, but the team is in 10th place this season.
Lee and Park said they will concentrate on their current projects for now.
"It's been a bumpy road. We started this channel with three staff members in the beginning. Now, we have 12," Park said.
"We have started a number of different programs. Also, the K League is going to start soon. We will do our best to have fun with a variety of football content this year."