Update (credit Anna L): SBS spokesman Park Jae Man said on 1st August, “It was regrettable if Olympics organizers felt offended by the broadcast. The purpose of the broadcast was aimed at heightening enthusiasm toward the Beijing Olympics by showing South Korean viewers the magnificence of the opening ceremony. There was no other intention.” (no repentance whatsoever)
The rehearsals for the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony was held last night as every spectator who walked into the stadium to watch the event had to sign an agreement to not reveal anything they saw to the world. But alas, a television station from South Korea has caused huge embarrassment by leaking footage from the rehearsals to the entire world just nine days before the opening ceremony, as it incurred the wrath of Chinese netizens.
In this news item that lasted 2min 9secs, the anchor even did a detailed introduction and review of the content. Many China netizens were incensed after knowing this and was angry with what SBS Korea had done. One wrote angrily, “The organizers had gone to great lengths and effort to keep everything shrouded in secrecy. The Korean media is really unethical.” Another wrote, “There are so many media in the world but only Korea’s SBS are capable of doing this thing. I am not sure whether they are ignorant or shameless.”
The news also angered Chinese students currently studying in Korea as one wrote, “SBS is one of three major national South Korean television and radio networks. This irresponsible reporting is really undesirable. Many of my Korean friends also felt that SBS did wrong on it’s part.” The Beijing Olympics spokesman, Sun Weide, said last night that the footage was obtained by “irregular means” and questioned the professional standards of the reporter.
The video was uploaded yesterday on a video sharing website with over 50,000 hits in a flash and many comments. But it was deleted due to COPYRIGHT violations late last night. But you can still view the video here while it lasts.
One KBS spokesperson expressed, “For such a big event like the Olympics, the media shouldn’t try to leak any footage that it had managed to obtain beforehand. SBS has a history of commiting similar offences in the past and we are just disappointed at their actions.” Meanwhile a MBC spokesperson replied in unison, “This is their sole doing and has nothing to do with MBC or KBS.”
What worries KBS and MBC the most is that it might affect their broadcast of the Beijing Olympics. The three major tv networks had joined together and signed a broadcast agreement with the IOC. If the IOC decides to pursue the matter, it might affect KBS and MBC. The worst scenario might see it being stripped of the rights to show the opening ceremony. KBS and MBC expressed that SBS should bear sole responsibility and they should be absolved of any links.
It’s not known whether SBS will face censure from the Beijing Olympics organizers over this unfortunate security breach by their reporting crew.