Success of 'Secret Garden' Continues to Grow

The massive popularity of the SBS hit drama "Secret Garden" is still reverberating even after the weekend series came to an end. Deals have been worked out to export the drama to several countries, and it is expanding its reach to other fields including music, film and theater.

SBS Contents Hub said on Thursday that it has sold broadcasting rights for 13 countries so far, including Japan, China and Thailand, at record-high prices for a combined US$3.5 million. It also recently signed a contract with a U.S. website which will offer the series as video-on-demand.

"We expect more profits once exports of merchandise such as dolls, comics and diaries begin sooner or later," an SBS Contents Hub spokesperson said. "The Japanese terrestrial channel that will broadcast the series expects the same blockbuster success as 'Winter Sonata' there."

Meanwhile, the soundtrack of "Secret Garden" is sweeping the pop charts here. The album has sold more than 30,000 copies, and a song from the album by main actor Hyun Bin has topped various online music charts.

The film industry also hopes to see ripple effects, as the movies "Late Autumn" and "Come Rain Come Shine" starring Hyun and "Sector 7" with the series' lead actress Ha Ji-won are soon to hit cinemas.

"Secret Garden" may be heading to the stage as well. "We had thought about making it into a musical, and thanks to its great popularity we've been inundated with proposals," said an insider at Hwa & Dam Pictures, the series' production company.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 21, 2011 11:41 KST