SABC is ready for 2009 FIFA Confeds Cup

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Johannesburg - The South African Broadcasting Corporation says it has acquired the sophisticated infrastructure needed to bring the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the subsequent 2010 FIFA World Cup to billions of fans worldwide.

The SABC is the official broadcast partner to both the FIFA Confederations Cup and the world cup.

Acting SABC Chief Executive Officer Gab Mampone told journalists on Wednesday that the national broadcaster was ready to broadcast the 16 Confederations Cup and 64 World Cup matches live.

"We've got our broadcasting strategy that will help us to modernise and enhance our infrastructure and I can readily say that we are ready for that and I can assure you that all the games will be live.

"We are getting two digital outside broadcasting vans they are arriving next month from Germany so that people who are outside the country they will be having a digital signal that will ensure that they receive a Direct-to-Home content during these games starting with the Confederations Cup," he said.

Mr Mampone said two additional outside broadcasting vans would be delivered in 2010 for the world cup.

"We are happy to announce that also next year we'll be having other two vans that will ensure that those [2010] games are broadcast digitally, he said.

The SABC is also involved in various corporate social investment initiatives in an effort to boost morale in the build up to the world cup.

"We are involved with Sentech and the government in making sure that there are low power transmitters and those transmitters also will be coming through a digital signal making sure that about 3.5 million people who are not accessing either radio or TV by the 2010 they'll be accessing such," said Mr Mampone.

Sentech is a commercially operated state-owned signal distribution network enterprise.

SABC will distribute some 20 000 low-cost radios to various rural communities before the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mr Mampone said the SABC was also in discussions with Icasa about the probability of an additional channel for the 2010 FIFA World Cup programming.

"We are actually involved with Icasa to probably get a channel geared only for the 2010 through an interim license," he said.

Icasa is the regulator for the South African communications sector, responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, postal and telecommunications services.

Mr Mampone further urged South Africans to stock up on Bafana Bafana memorabilia and official jerseys.

"Please let's have those jerseys, caps and wear them with pride and intimidate Bafana's opponents, he said.