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Fees Putting Damper on Soccer Rallies

Posted June. 10, 2006 03:34,   


With the upcoming World Cup soccer match against Togo (June 13), local governments are canceling street cheering activities.

If a cheering session is to take place with a large-sized screen, a fee of 5.5 million won (value added tax included) must be paid for broadcasting rights per game for the “public viewing.” Considering the extra charge for setting it up, some 10 million won in all will have to be paid in expenses.

According to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) regulations, if a game is to be broadcasted in a public area outside the stadium with more than two people gathered, approval in advance must be received from FIFA for public viewing rights.

The Korean Broadcasters Association (KBA-members include KBS, MBC, SBS) purchased World Cup broadcasting rights for $25 million (approximately 23.6 billion won) and is requiring that broadcasting rights be purchased at five to 50 million won for a large group viewing outside the stadium.

Accordingly, Damyang-gun, Jeonnam Province recently cancelled its group cheering plan scheduled to take place at its county hall for the matches against Togo, France (June 19) and Switzerland (June 24). An official said, “The burden to pay for broadcasting rights costing over five million won to watch together the games played late at night or early in the morning was too much, and we decided to give up the plan.”

A local government of Gyeongnam Province said that it will hold a street cheering session at its sports park on June 13, but made an external announcement that there will be “no cheering session.” This was made due to worries that it might be charged the broadcasting rights fee.

A KBA official said, “When we purchased the World Cup broadcasting rights from FIFA, protecting the intellectual property rights were included in the contract terms. It may not concur with our country’s sentiment, but if we do not receive the charge, it will be going against the contract.”

Seung-Ho Jung Jin-Yeong Lee shjung@donga.com ecolee@donga.com