SABC assures its official broadcaster for 2010

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pretoria - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has assured the public that it has the rights to be the official broadcaster of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

This, after media reports claimed it did not have a broadcast contract with FIFA.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the SABC said the corporation "indeed has an agreement with the football body as official broadcaster of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa."

The corporation said the court case, over a tender dispute as reported by the media, will not hamper broadcasting of the tournament.

The court case revolves around the issuing of a tender between Sony South Africa and Digital Horizons.

According to the Star newspaper, the SABC "used the World Cup as an excuse to avoid an interdict overturning a questionable R400 million contract" for outside broadcasting (OB) units.

It reported that lawyers for FIFA's agent, Host Broadcast Services (HBS) had indicated in court documents pertaining to the tender matter that there was no contract.

"...No such contract between HBS and the SABC exists. In addition no SABC OB trucks will be required by HBS for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa," said HBS.

Last year, the broadcaster told the high court it had obligations to FIFA to televise the Confederations Cup in June this year and the World Cup and therefore could not delay the awarding of the contract to buy four high definition OB vans.

The competing bidder Digital Horizons claimed the award was unfair.

"The SABC is, and remains of the view that its award of the tender to Sony SA was appropriate, particularly having regard to the substantial difference between the bid by Sony SA and that of Digital Horizons of R66 million.

"The SABC is also of the considered view that the best interest of the public at large and the SABC were served by the award of the tender to Sony SA," said the broadcaster.

The corporation added that the OB vans had previously been used for the preliminary draw for FIFA in December 2007 as well as for the Confederations draw.

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