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N. Koreans to watch London Games

Broadcaster strikes deal in Pyongyang to provide coverage

ABU president Kim In-kyu and ABU sports director John Barton at the press conference in Seoul
ABU president Kim In-kyu and ABU sports director John Barton at the press conference in Seoul
  • John Won, Seoul
  • Korea
  • July 27, 2012
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North Koreans will be able to watch the Olympic Games, which start today. Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) has contracted to provide the reclusive communist state with TV and radio coverage.

ABU president Kim In-kyu announced that an agreement was reached with the North Korean Radio and Television Broadcasting Committee (KRT) at a meeting earlier this week in Pyongyang. North Korea, which has more than 50 athletes competing in 11 events at the Games, will pay an undisclosed amount for the broadcast rights.

At a press conference in Seoul yesterday, Kim said North Korea has sent six television production people to London to work on the event.

The deal stipulates that North Korea must broadcast at least 200 hours of coverage. But John Barton, ABU sports director, pointed out: “if North Korea wants, it can broadcast more than 3,000 hours of live and recorded broadcasts."

An agreement to help North Korea secure coverage for future major sporting events had also been struck, Kim said.

They include the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
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