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North Korea Are Pirating The Qatar World Cup Broadcast On State-Run KCTV

North Korea Are Pirating The Qatar World Cup Broadcast On State-Run KCTV

In all sports, there is no event that doesn’t cower at the might of the FIFA World Cup.

Bringing together nations from virtually all continents and attracting an audience far beyond the grasp of even the Olympics, FIFA’s quadrennial event is quite the spectacle.

For the 2022 edition, the organization projects that a total of 5 billion people will tune in, with more than a billion expected to watch the final unfold.

Naturally, the viewership includes nations outside of the 32 participants, and the event’s streaming rights are sold almost everywhere.

In fact, you can watch the World Cup even in the authoritarian state of North Korea, although you’ll be on the wrong side of Johnny Law.

Football happens to be the most popular sport in the country, and the national team even competed in the 2010 edition of the World Cup. 

Since then, however, things have veered off course.

The national team are firmly out of WC contention, and by the looks of it, there’s no official way for North Koreans to get their World Cup fix either.

Fortunately for them, the folks at KCTV, North Korea’s state broadcaster, figured out the ultimate work-around, and its brilliance is all about the simplicity really. 

Taking a page out of the book of numerous teenagers on FT, KCTV donned on the eye-patch and took the pirate route.


Despite lacking official rights, the nation’s state broadcaster streamed the World Cup opener on their channel using a pirated stream. 

They even went a step further and blurred out the original broadcaster’s logo, and stapled on a custom scoreboard as well.

Smart money says that they hijacked the signal of their South Korean neighbours, replicating their antics from back in 2010.

It’s nice to know that everyone can enjoy the festival of Football, although there’s something to be said about the audacity of KCTV.