Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ Literally Broke the Internet in South Korea

The South Korean-produced drama is on pace to become Netflix’s most popular original series


Netflix’s out-of-nowhere mega hit “Squid Game” is so popular in South Korea that one of the country’s largest internet service providers is suing Netflix over it.

On Friday, Reuters reported that a spokesperson for SK Broadband said it wants Netflix to pay the costs from increased network traffic and maintenance. “Squid Game” is the No. 1 Netflix show in 90 countries, including South Korea, where it is set.

Earlier this year, a Seoul court ruled that streaming services like Netflix should indeed “reasonably” pay up.

South Korean lawmakers have also spoken out against content providers who do not help pay for the network usage their shows create when they become popular. Netflix challenged this in a lawsuit of its own last year, which it lost.

SK told Reuters that Netflix’s data traffic handled by the provider has increased by 24x from May 2018, to 1.2 trillion bits of data processed per second as of September. Netflix told Reuters that it is reviewing the claim and wants to work with SK to make sure customers are not affected.

Reps for Netflix and SK Broadband were not able to be reached.

Produced out of South Korea, “Squid Game” is pacing to be the streaming service’s most popular original series ever, a title currently held by Shonda Rhimes’ “Bridgerton.” During Vox Media’s Code Conference this week, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the dystopian drama was already its top show in 90 countries. It first premiered on Sept. 17.

“Squid Game” centers on hundred of poor contestants who take part in a series of deadly versions of children’s games.