3 June 2010
The most watched sporting event on the globe requires a world-class broadcast solution, and the opening of South Africa’s International Broadcast Centre has provided just that.
“I am confident that the coverage and images from South Africa will be the most advanced and will reach and be enjoyed by more people than ever before in the history of the tournament,” Fifa president Sepp Blatter said at the opening of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
“Football and television is something that goes together like a great story. You [the broadcasters] need a spectacular, you need emotion, and you need a show. And this is what football is offering you.”
Situated in a 30 000 square metre compound at the Nasrec Expo Centre, just a few hundred metres from Soccer City stadium, hundreds of broadcasters from around the world are preparing to beam the story of Africa’s first Fifa World Cup from the IBC to an expected cumulative television audience of over 26-billion.
And although they are all there to work, there is a distinct sense of national pride among the broadcasters, who represent a total of 70 countries, gathered at the IBC – with national flags waving from desks and trucks in support of their respective teams during the month-long tournament.
Francisco Sagredo, general editor for the World Cup for TVN Chile, and his team are just one of the many who are setting up at the IBC. The 25-strong team will be broadcasting back to Chile from 09h00 until 04h00 every day, and will be ready for full operation within the next few days.
ITV England, with a crew of 200 people, has one of the best views in the house. “We are delighted to have a studio overlooking Soccer City – it is magnificent,” said one of the production managers. They will be broadcasting all matches and running 24 hours a day for the World Cup, and will also be running six football-related shows a day for the duration of the tournament.
Having experienced six World Cups previously, Operations Director for Televisa Mexico, Elias Rodriguez, and his 210-strong crew are more than confident about their role in the World Cup. “Our team and the IBC are ready for this,” he said.