K-pop has made its mark on American mainstream television over the past decade.
On Sunday, BTS will be red-carpet-ready at the Billboard Music Awards. The first-ever K-pop act to be nominated for a BBMA, the boy band is a contender in the top social artist category. Being up for the fan-vote-driven award is no surprise, since the septet has the third longest run at No. 1 on Billboard's Social 50 chart, coming in second only to Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.
BTS’ attendance at the BBMAs -- which will air live Sunday on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT -- marks the first time any Korean act will appear at an American music awards ceremony where they’re up for an award. The boy band has broken numerous records and have the highest-ranked K-pop album on the Billboard 200, but along with their own achievements, the BBMA broadcast marks a milestone for Korean acts on American television in general. The BBMAs come after a decade of small nods -- outside of news coverage -- to K-pop on American TV, as Korean artists have attempted to break into the U.S. market.
The first time K-pop made a major mark on American mainstream TV was in 2006, when MTV recognized the genre's growing popularity and launched MTV K on satellite TV. Though the channel went defunct in 2007, MTV K was revamped in 2010 and became a major content purveyor for K-pop in the U.S. over the next few years, organizing several live performances by K-pop acts in New York City before it, too, went silent.