The following are information that I have researched about the four major music shows in Korea. All the times stated are Korean Standard Time, so please check your timezone. Shows are sometimes pre-empted or cancelled due to live broadcast of generic sports event or otherwise. Please check at their specific Soompi threads on the day itself to see if it’s showing.
M! Countdown is shown every Thursday via MNET from 7 – 8pm. It’s currently hosted by Chae Yeon and Alex. Every week, two singers/groups are picked to vie for No.1. Winner is announced at the end of the show. How they calculate the scores are pretty vague but usually the most popular ones will win. Not verified, but it seems like you can win for a maximum of 3 times.
Visit M! Countdown Soompi Thread for the latest.
Music Bank is shown Every Friday via KBS2TV from 6.35 – 7.45pm. It’s currently hosted by Yoo Se Yun and Seo In Young. Music Bank determines their No.1 weekly through their K-Chart ranking system by adding and ranking through album charts (20%), digital music charts (50%), and audience rating (30%).
Visit Music Bank Soompi Thread for the latest.
At the start of the show, the hosts will announce the top 3 and the winner will be revealed at the end of the show. There are currently no known limits on the number of times you can win K-Chart. Jewelry holds the record for six consecutive No.1 on K-Chart with One More Time in March and April.
Music Core is shown every Saturday at 3.10pm and is currently hosted by Solbi, Dae Sung and Seung Ri. They do have a ranking system in the past but have since scrapped it and is now purely a music show. But it’s rumored that the last singer/group who performs is considered to be the No.1 academically.
Visit Music Core Soompi Thread for the latest.
Inkigayo is shown every Sunday at 4.10pm and is currently hosted by Heo Yi Jae and Eun Ji Won. Inkigayo determines their Mutizen winner weekly through their chart called Take 7. The ranking takes into account street surveys, album sales, online/mobile music sales, numbers showing on TV and votes from mobile.
Visit Inkigayo Soompi Thread for the latest.
Take 7 participants are announced before the show and winner is revealed at the end. You can only win the Mutizen award for a maximum of 3 times.
Difference Between Stages
Comeback Stage usually refers to the singer/group debuting their new song and they usually perform 2 songs. Goodbye Stage refers to the last time the singer/group is performing on that particular music show. Special Stages are when artistes collaborate or to celebrate a special occasion or event.
Use this timezone converter to see when you have to get up/stay up until
Watching It Live
Watch it live if you have a decent internet connection.
For M! Countdown, Music Core and Inkigayo, download TVAnts. Few minutes before showtime, start up TVAnts, type in MNET/KM, MBC or SBS depending on which show, then select the channel with the best quality.
Many thanks to dothat36@soompi, lazenca0, seoulfull.wordpress.com for providing some information about the various music shows in Korea.
Comment if you have additional info or if there are inaccuracies.