Wednesday, May 12, 2010

North Korea May Not See World Cup

Well, of course. If any country on the face of the Earth could pull this off in 2010 AD, it is North Korea and the madmen who run the planet's most benighted country.

The poor people of North Korea may not be able to see South Africa 2010.

North Korea can't or won't pay for its own broadcast rights. In 2006, it was a South Korean station that provided TV of the World Cup in Germany.

But negotiations for the same sort of arrangement have stalled since the apparent North Korean attack on a South Korean vessel, killing 46 sailors.

And now?

Well, nothing is happening. The South Korea company said the tension between the two countries since the unprovoked attack have stopped negotiations ... for South Korea to provide free TV to their oppressed brothers to the north.

This matters in particular this year because North Korea qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1966.

And here is the real fly in the ointment: Even if these negotiations get worked out ... North Koreans may not see any of their team's matches, anyway.

Why? Because North Korea has a history of delaying all broadcasts of its sports teams, waiting to see if they win before they actually run them on TV.

Can't have viewers see their team lose. That can't happen.

Considering the group North Korea is in -- Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast -- the odds are long that North Korea will win a match. Could be three defeats and, bang, back to Pyongyang and a life of want and terror.

Anyway, North Korea's people probably expect very little in life. Which is good, because it seems unlikely they will be able to share in the pleasures even the poorest people of the most backward nations on Earth have -- an ability to watch the World Cup on free TV.
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