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SBS Fined $1.6 Mln Over Exclusive Airing of World Cup

Posted July. 24, 2010 11:05,   


The broadcast network SBS was fined Friday 1.9 billion won (1.6 million U.S. dollars) for refusing to take corrective measures on negotiations over the broadcasting rights to the World Cup soccer finals.

The Korea Communications Commission said SBS failed to concurrently inform its negotiating partners of the price for the broadcasting rights, an obligation specified in an order for corrective action, and that the network sought to reject or delay the resale of the rights.

SBS was also deemed not to have considered the public’s right to universal viewership by insisting on exclusive broadcasting of games involving the two Koreas in negotiations.

Earlier on April 23, the commission gave Korea’s three major terrestrial broadcasters an order demanding corrective measures, urging them to conduct negotiations in the most sincere fashion by April 30, and to report the result to the commission by May 3.

The commission issued “warnings” to KBS and MBC, saying the two did not commit offenses warranting fines but failed to implement corrective measures in the most sincere fashion.

Choi Jae-yoo, chief of the commission’s user protection bureau, said the maximum fine on SBS was 3.94 billion won (3.3 million dollars), or five percent of the value of the World Cup broadcasting rights.

“We imposed a fine of half the amount because this is the first fine for violating the public’s right to universal viewership and no precedent exists in which a maximum fine has handed down in the communications field,” he said.

SBS filed an administrative lawsuit with the Seoul Administrative Court Wednesday on the constitutionality of broadcast law, which requires compulsory “resale of broadcasting rights for events of public interest.”