Associated Press announces deal to provide video news in high definition from North Korea

Sept. 29, 2011
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Associated Press President and Chief Executive Tom Curley, right, speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club (JNPC) in Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. Curley said the agency has signed an exclusive deal to provide high definition news video from North Korea to broadcasters worldwide. In the speech, Curley unveiled the three-year agreement with North Korean state broadcaster KRT and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. At left is Kenji Bando, a JNPC planning committee member. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
LONDON – The Associated Press (AP) today announced an exclusive deal between its video newsgathering arm, Associated Press Television News (APTN), and North Korea to provide video news coverage in high definition to international broadcasters from the country.

The three-year agreement represents a unique partnership with North Korean state broadcaster KRT and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. Under the deal, Associated Press Television News will be the only agency to transmit broadcast-quality HD pictures of key news events in North Korea. Additionally, the agency will have exclusive rights to deliver unilateral HD video feeds for all news broadcasters wishing to transmit from the country.

The infrastructure will be established ahead of 2012, when the country celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of its late leader Kim Il Sung.

The new deal builds on a long-standing relationship with authorities in North Korea, after the agency became the first Western news organization to open an office in Pyongyang in 2006. In June of this year, AP announced the signing of two memos of understanding and a contract with the Korea Central News Agency, including one to open an AP news bureau in Pyongyang.

Sandy MacIntyre, vice president and director of news for APTN, said: “It builds on our leadership position in covering North Korea and makes us the must-have partner for any news organization wanting comprehensive coverage from the region – particularly high-definition video.”

Daisy Veerasingham, senior vice president of AP, said: “The move to HD in North Korea is part of APs multimillion dollar upgrade of our global newsgathering infrastructure which will see us fully HD for news in time for the London Olympics. We’ll be HD for all entertainment customers on Nov. 11, 2011.”

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