JOHANNESBURG - TV viewers can take out their earplugs, because the vuvuzelas are going to have less buzz.

Host Broadcast Services, the company that provides the broadcast feed for the World Cup, said Tuesday it has doubled its audio filters to reduce the constant blaring of the plastic horns.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has strongly backed the use of the horns since they were introduced to the wider football world at the Confederations Cup test event in South Africa exactly a year ago, and he said again Monday they're here to stay.

International incident. Asia's broadcasting union said Tuesday in Malaysia that it's providing North Korea with free live coverage of World Cup matches.

John Barton, the sport director of the Kuala Lumpur-based Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, said he signed a contract with FIFA on Friday before the opening game to broadcast the matches live into North Korea.

South Korea's SBS television, which owns broadcast rights for the entire Korean peninsula, has questioned how North Korea secured the footage. Unlike in the past, SBS has not provided live coverage to Pyongyang due to current tensions between the two Koreas.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that North Korea could have a normal, lawful relationship with its neighbors. But he says instead it chooses to "try to steal or pirate a World Cup signal."

World Cup strike spreads. A strike over pay by the security stewards at World Cup stadiums spread to half the tournament's 10 venues Tuesday, forcing police to step in and assume their duties.

Johannesburg police said they were bringing in more than 1,000 officers to guarantee security for the game between Brazil and North Korea.

Meanwhile, several hundred guards walked off the job at Soccer City, the main World Cup stadium in Johannesburg. There was no match scheduled there Tuesday.

Police said they also have taken over security at stadiums in Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, where Portugal and Ivory Coast played.

At issue is a wage dispute between the stewards and a private company hired by World Cup organizers.

Dressed to shill. More than 30 women showed up at the Netherlands-Denmark match Monday wearing orange mini-dresses emblazoned with the name of a Dutch brewery in what World Cup officials called an ambush marketing scam by Dutch brewer Bavaria NV.

Budweiser is the official World Cup beer, the only one sold at World Cup stadiums and official viewing sites.

FIFA officials escorted the women out of the stadium after the game and took them to the nearby offices of the South African Football Federation, where the women said they were questioned for several hours.

Big talk. Slovenia's Andrej Komac is confident about his team's chances against the United States in their World Cup match Friday.

"We are going to win this match," the midfielder said after practice Tuesday.

He added there's "a good feeling" on the squad after Slovenia beat Algeria, 1-0, to claim its first World Cup victory. Komac came on as a substitute in the final minutes.

Slovenia produced few scoring chances, but fielded a strong defense Algeria couldn't break down.

"We are playing our style of football . . . and we can beat the U.S. with that style," Komac said.

Quote of the day. From Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, who played with a cast on his broken right arm against Portugal:

"The only problem is if I had fallen down."