Western films are largely off limits in North Korea. In a tweet Thursday, British Ambassador to South Korea Martin Uden called the broadcast the "1st ever western-made film to air on TV" in North Korea, and he credited UK Embassy 4 for arranging it.
The broadcast, monitored in Seoul on Dec. 26, was apparently edited and ran only an hour long.
The 2002 film starred /*Keira Knightley*/ and /*Jonathan Rhys Myers*/.
While soccer is popular among North Koreans, the film touched on several taboo topics, like interracial relationships, homosexuality and religion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report