North Korea's World Cup, Ctd

A reader writes:

The Football Ramble had a blogger from inside North Korea. These dispatches are really cool and, as far as I can tell, real: June 20th - June 21st - June 23rd

From the first entry:

The small ex-pat community here in Pyongyang are, thankfully, able to catch this year’s games live on satellite television. The Korean proletariat aren’t quite so fortunate, but the event has received more coverage in the Korean media than your humble correspondent had anticipated and, contrary to some expectation in the UK and elsewhere, the brief match report from the DPRK’s loss to Brazil was very honest.

There are three television channels available in Pyongyang (only one is available in other cities), but the national broadcaster did not obtain rights to screen the World Cup. Instead, the South Korean broadcaster, SBS, bought the rights for the entire peninsula. SBS began negotiations with the North to provide coverage, but there were disagreements over costs, and the talks eventually collapsed as tensions rose when an investigation concluded that the North had been responsible for the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel which claimed 46 lives. It was, therefore, something of a surprise when the opening match of the tournament, South Africa vs. Mexico, was screened on Korean television last Saturday evening. SBS cried foul, believing that the North had obtained a pirated signal. The North Koreans simply denied this, and it later emerged that FIFA had negotiated a deal with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union to ensure that the people could watch the greatest show on earth.