Rivals to Sue as SBS Bags Sole World Cup Broadcasting Rights

      May 26, 2010 12:58

      SBS officially announced it will be the sole broadcaster of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. MBC and state-run broadcaster KBS promised to sue SBS over what they say is a breach of agreement to share broadcast rights to the event.

      SBS Vice President Lee Nam-ki in a press conference at SBS headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday said, "We can practically confirm that we will be the only broadcaster of the 2010 World Cup. With just 17 days remaining until the opening, co-broadcasting is both legally and realistically impossible as we would need to obtain FIFA authorization to do so." 

      The three broadcasters' negotiations broke down on May 3, the deadline set by the Korea Communications Commission. Early last month, KBS said the three broadcasters had a written agreement to cooperate on a Korean pool to obtain broadcasting rights of the 2010 Winter Olympics and the World Cup on May 30, 2006, but SBS had already on May 8 signed with IB Sports for the exclusive broadcasting rights."

      The two others plan to take SBS to court seeking charges of fraud and obstruction of business.

      There will also be no off-site broadcasting, although KBS and MBC had hoped they would be able to at least cover the news in the studio. Huh In-koo, SBS's sports chief, rejected the idea, saying, "Off-site broadcasting can only be permitted only when the match is relatively unimportant or in emergencies." As FIFA refused to issue press ID cards to Korean broadcasters other than SBS, it will be very difficult for KBS and MBC to cover the World Cup except by showing five to six minutes of clips from SBS per day or two minutes per match.

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