North won’t get World Cup television feed from South

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North won’t get World Cup television feed from South

Negotiations over North Korean access to television feeds of the upcoming World Cup have broken down, the South Korean government said yesterday.

The North had demanded the South provide the feeds without charge, as the Roh Moo-hyun administration did during the 2006 Germany World Cup. The South had agreed to provide the feed, but only if North Korea paid a fee to SBS.

“Negotiations between SBS, which has the exclusive broadcasting rights to the Korean peninsula, and the Korean Central Television [of North Korea] came to no resolution,” a government official said on condition of anonymity. “As the opening [of the World Cup] is imminent, it has become virtually impossible for North Korea to receive the game feeds from us.”

Heightened tension between the two Koreas in the wake of the Cheonan’s sinking, an act the South blames on the North, impeded the discussions. The official added that he had no information about how North Korea would respond to the news.

North Korea qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 44 years. It also marks the first time the two Koreas are playing together at the World Cup.


By Lee Young-jong [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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