MBC Announces There Will Be NO ISAC This Chuseok — Will It Be Canceled Ultimately?

This year, K-pop fans won’t be able to see the much-anticipated idol interactions once again after MBC announced that there will be no ISAC for Chuseok. What happened?

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MBC Confirms There Will Be NO Idol Star Athletics Championship (ISAC) in 2023

The organization of the Chuseok special for Idol Star Athletics Championships (ISAC) 2023 has failed.

According to Herald POP on September 16, MBC announced that they will not organize the 2023 Chuseok special for ISAC.


(Photo : News1)
2022 Idol Star Athletics Championship (ISAC)

According to the broadcasting channel, it will be difficult for K-pop enthusiasts to watch MBC’s representative holiday entertainment program due to heavy broadcasting caused by the Asian Games airing from September 23 to October 8.

Instead, MBC’s much-loved shows, “I Live Alone” and “Point of Omniscient Interfere” will be presented to viewers as Chuseok specials.

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ISAC Chuseok 2019

(Photo : ISAC via MBC)
2019 Idol Star Athletics Championship (ISAC)

Meanwhile, The Idol Star Athletics Championships, hereinafter ISAC was aired every Chuseok holiday and Lunar New Year since 2010.

After its successful pilot episode first aired in 2009’s Chuseok, it became a fixed event broadcast on MBC which would always earn hot responses from viewers for various reasons.

Firstly, through this program, the special skills and athletic side of numerous artists were highlighted. There are a lot of events including running, archery, basketball, futsal, rhythmic gymnastics, and e-sports, that idols can join in and show their abilities.

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(Photo : SHINee Minho, HIGHLIGHT Doojoon, BTOB Minhyuk, and Apink Bomi)

As a result, ISAC legendary players were born including SISTAR Bora, Apink Bomi, HIGHLIGHT Doojoon, BTOB Lee Minhyuk, SHINee Minho, GFRIEND Yuju and more.

Another reason ISAC was supported by fans was due to the iconic idol interactions and memes that were born through this show. Through the years, various fans, especially multi-fandom supporters have been waiting for the so-called “crumbs” between their favorite stars who rarely have the chance to talk and interact.

As it is a “sacred place” where even popular idols appear, rookie idols always select ISAC as one of the programs that they want to participate in.

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ITZY with Kep1er Mashiro

(Photo : Twitter @fiveofitzy)
ITZY Yeji and Kep1er Mashiro reunites at ISAC 2022

MBC initially stopped organizing the show in 2017 due to the “MBC strike” and in 2021 due to the prolonged COVID-19, until it returned to Chuseok in 2022. Unfortunately, it will not be available again this year to give way for the Asian Games broadcasts.

Amid fans’ regret, there are also voices saying that ISAC should be canceled ultimately due to its various controversies.

Through the years, there have been issues of favoring idols, power abuse, fandom fights, incurring artist injuries and evil editing that arose in the show. In fact, there are opinions that it has become less popular than when it was first launched every year.


(Photo : iMBC 연예 – MBC)
TWICE Tzuyu @ 2019 ISAC

Another reason was that there are a lot of second-gen idols claiming that ISAC is a “dating place” for idols, thus, fandoms don’t want their favorite artist to be embroiled in any unnecessary controversy.

With this, attention is focusing on whether the “Idol Star Athletics Championships” will return next year, the Lunar New Year’s Day in 2024.