Hong Kong Closes World Cup Loophole

For the first time, soccer fans in the U.S. can watch every single World Cup match. Such is the norm in Europe, and in mainland China.

Football crazy Hong Kongers who live in buildings with satellite antennae might’ve tuned in to mainland China’s CCTV, but now that loophole is being sewn up.

In Hong Kong, the subscription service i-Cable won the legal rights to show every match. For those who don’t subscribe to i-Cable, the only local viewing option was a pair of free stations that will air two semifinal games and the final (they also showed the opening game on Friday). Even North Korea has made it easier to watch the World Cup: its state broadcaster has aired footage from three games so far, though not surprisingly it skipped the South Korea and U.S. games. (South Korea’s SBS TV, which has refused to share its feed with the North as it did in 2006, called the latest broadcasts an “act of piracy.”)

So many Hong Kong residents were left with CCTV. But, according to the Associated Press, the Hong Kong government said it asked local buildings with satellite antennae last week to block out CCTV’s World Cup coverage, warning that violators “may attract civil liability” for copyright infringement.

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