‘North Korea not watching World Cup illegally’
NORTH KOREA this week secured legal rights to air World Cup matches live, according to Asia’s broadcasting union, who deny the communist state had pirated a recording of the opening fixture.
According to South Korean broadcaster SBS, the North’s Korean Central Broadcast Service (KBS) aired the 1-1 draw between South Africa and Mexico without permission.
But the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union said North Korea – whose team is competing at the World Cup for the first time in 44 years – had used legal footage “right from the start” following a deal between the union and Fifa.
KBS is a member of the TV union, which has agreed with Fifa to air the tournament live in six other impoverished countries – East Timor, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
“We have signed a contract with Fifa on June 11, just before the opening game started, to broadcast the matches live in North Korea,” a spokeswoman at the Kuala Lumpurbased broadcasting union told AFP. “Right from the start, North Korea has been using the feeds from Fifa legally.”
SBS maintains it holds the broadcast rights for the entire Korean peninsula.
North Korea had wanted the South to provide free footage, as with the 2006 tournament in Germany. But SBS said last week negotiations with the North over a fee had broken down. – The Telegraph