The New York Philharmonic’s controversial concert in North Korea on Feb. 26 will be broadcast that night on WNET (Channel 13) and replayed two days later on PBS, officials told The New York Times. ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff will provide “behind-the-scenes coverage” of the concert. Because of the time difference, the concert will air live before dawnin New York on Feb. 26 through EuroArts Music International, which produces and distributes classical music programming and has the rights to the broadcast outside South Korea. One place where the broadcast is still uncertain is North Korea itself.
Government officials there have not said whether the concert will be shown on local television, according to Eric Latzky, the Philharmonic’s spokesman.
Given North Korea’s deep isolation and the government’s tight control over its citizens, the broadcast issue is of crucial interest. Orchestra officials said they had pressed hard to have the concert shown on North Korean television, to ensure that it would be heard by more than just a small audience of dignitaries. The broadcast of any event from North Korea is rare.
The joint WNET-ABC News effort came from a desire to jump on the newsworthy nature of the event, said Neal Shapiro, president and chief executive of WNET’s parent, the Educational Broadcasting Corporation, which also includes WLIW, Channel 21, on Long Island. Mr. Shapiro is a former producer at ABC News and president of NBC News.
“I didn’t want to just show a concert,” he said in a phone interview. “It was a historic place at a historic time.”