Last year, the production team of KBS 2TV's 'Music Bank' was investigated by police for allegedly manipulating their broadcast score. On February 10, it was announced that the charges against the production team were dropped.
The Yeoungdeungpo Police Station in Seoul decided not to send the case to prosecution on February 9. The police decided to dismiss the charges against 'Music Bank' producer 'A,' who was also suspected of obstructing business.
The controversy arose last year, during an episode that aired on May 13. At that time, Lim Young Woong's song "If We Ever Meet Again," and LE SSERAFIM's "Fearless" competed for the number 1 spot. Lim Young Woong's track performed much better and received a score of 1148 for the digital music score and 5885 for the physical album score. LE SSERAFIM had a much lower digital music score and physical album score of 544 and 1955, respectively. However, LE SSERAFIM took home the win after Lim Young Woong was given a 0 for the broadcast score, while the girl group was given 5348 for the broadcast score.
Music Bank ranks digital music (60% of the total score), number of broadcasts (20%), viewer preference (10%), physical album (5%), and social media (5%).
After the broadcast, Lim Young Woong's fans pointed out that it was difficult to understand that Lim Young Woong received 0 points for the broadcast score. The fans argued that Lim Young Woong's song appeared on KBS radio during the score-counting period, so it would be impossible for Lim Young Woong's song to have no broadcast appearances leading to a score of 0.
In response, KBS said, “We have never manipulated the broadcast score. During the ranking aggregation period, from the 2nd to the 8th, Lim Young Woong’s ’If We Ever Meet Again’ was not broadcast on KBS TV, radio, and digital content.”
Nevertheless, fans argued against KBS's explanation since Lim Young Woong's song did appear on various KBS shows, such as 'KBS Happy FM's 'Lim Baek Cheon's 100 Music', KBS Cool FM's 'Lee Yoon Jung's Exciting Night' on May 4, and KBS Happy FM 'With Kim Hye Young' on May 7.
KBS reargued that "The radio broadcast scores are counted for only the seven programs from KBS Cool FM channel, and the other shows outside of KBS Cool FM are not subject to aggregation for the scoring."
Ultimately, a police investigation was launched in August 2022.
Now around six months later, the police judged that KBS did not manipulate the scores. Typically, broadcasts are usually scheduled from 5:00 AM to 5:00 AM the next day. However, if the broadcast is between 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM, the broadcast will be counted for the previous day. Therefore, Lim Young Woong's song was broadcast outside of the counting period.
A police official stated, "This incident was caused by the viewers' misunderstanding of the details of the broadcasting program's system."