Kabul TV starts (unofficial) World Cup Broadcasts

Afghanistan's state-run TV station has begun broadcasting World Cup soccer matches, unannounced and in violation of broadcast rights.

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By  David Cass Published  June 5, 2002

There’s evidence that free enterprise is alive and well in Afghanistan’s reborn broadcast industry, where Kabul Television has begun airing World Cup soccer matches – unannounced and in a clear violation of broadcast rights!

According to Japan’s Kyodo News, it began with the Germany v Saudi Arabia match following a visit to the station by a young Afghan man who requested the broadcasts from the tournament. After being told that the satellite downlink had been damaged in the war, so making it impossible to receive pictures, the young man went away and returned with a tape of the match, recorded from a satellite channel.

Delighted officials edited it down to 40 minutes and put it on air, unannounced, to the delight of the nation’s soccer fans. One viewer said that, at first he thought it was a match from a previous tournament but then realised that it was from the same day in Japan.

An official at the state-run TV station, unimpressed by the implications of violating the tournament’s broadcast rights, said it plans to show more matches, just as long as the young man continues to make recordings and brings in the tapes.

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