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(LEAD) IOC says S. Korea holds right to air London Olympics for N. Korea

All Headlines 11:39 July 03, 2012

(ATTN: UPDATES with comment by S. Korean official in 5th para; TRIMS in 6th para)

SEOUL, July 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's television network SBS has retained the right to air the upcoming London Olympic Games for the entire Korean Peninsula, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The privately owned terrestrial network has won the right from the IOC and agreed to broadcast the games along with two other public South Korean television networks KBS and MBC, said a SBS official handling the issue.

He said the three broadcasters held no discussions on whether to provide technical assistance to North Korea to ensure that 24 million North Koreans can watch the Olympic Games.

He asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

An official of the Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said the South Korean broadcasters should decide whether to provide a video feed for North Korea. He also spoke on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

A total of 49 North Korean athletes -- 35 women and 14 men -- are scheduled to compete in 11 Olympic sports, including women's football, marathon, table-tennis, wrestling and weightlifting, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea won four golds at the 1992 Olympics, and two golds at each of the 1996 and 2008 Games.

In 2010, North Korea aired the World Cup finals in South Africa with the help of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and football's international governing body FIFA.


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