Ire over Korean broadcast of secret Olympic rehearsal

The private South Korean television network SBS has broadcast secretly-taped footage of the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony, upsetting China and the International Olympic community.


The International Olympic Committee on Thursday slammed a South Korean TV station for "stealing" footage of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, after it broadcast footage of a rehearsal.

The film crew from private station SBS sneaked in and filmed a full dress rehearsal this week that was broadcast in South Korea on Tuesday and then posted on the Internet.

"I think it is disappointing that someone comes in there and literally steals one of the most exciting moments of the Games," said Kevan Gosper, an IOC executive board member from Australia.

"This is a great surprise and I have not heard of this happening before."

The Beijing Olympic organising committee said that the filming was unauthorised and that it had launched a investigation.

"We are disappointed and frustrated with the broadcast by SBS," said spokesman Sun Weide. "This matter is still under investigation."

Tight security has surrounded the rehearsals for the ceremony at the 90,000- seat National Stadium, better known as the Bird's Nest, where the Olympic opening ceremony will take place on August 8.

The 50-minute show has been one of China's most closely guarded secrets about the Games, despite having more than 10,000 performers in a performance that has been in the works for three years.

All participants have been sworn to secrecy and little has been disclosed about the actual programme, other than it will portray thousands of years of Chinese history.

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