Joburg to host 2010 broadcast centre

24 April 2008

World football authority Fifa has confirmed that Johannesburg will be the home of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC), the nerve centre for all television operations and the world’s news agencies during the 2010 World Cup.

The IBC at the Expo Centre at Nasrec, to the south of Johannesburg, will ensure that the tournament is broadcast in high definition television to billions of viewers across the globe. On average, over 2 000 people from the world’s major broadcasters and Fifa’s host broadcaster, HBS, will work around the clock from the IBC in June and July 2010.

Speaking at the launch of the centre on Monday, Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo said locating the IBC in the city would significantly strengthen South Africa’s ability to host the most successful World Cup ever.

Hosting the centre was a golden opportunity for the country, the Gauteng province and Johannesburg to showcase the maturity of South Africa’s democracy, and the sophisticated infrastructure and quality of service in the country.

“In Germany there was in excess of 13 400 accredited TV commentators, camera crews and technical staff,” he said. “We expect that a similar figure will use this centre as their headquarters and that many of them will reside in the accommodation that is going to be built here.”

Included in the high-tech facilities planned for the IBC are satellite teleport and telecommunications infrastructure, which will support a transmission capacity of 40 gigabytes a second.

Broadcast hub

Johannesburg is already the country’s primary broadcasting hub for international and local television and radio, as well home to almost 60% of all information communications and technology (ICT) enterprises in South Africa.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter sent a recorded message congratulating the city for winning the bid to host the IBC, beating Durban and Cape Town, adding that the launch of the IBC marked another “important and significant milestone towards 2010”.

“As you know, I am a supporter of modern communication, and this IBC will be one of the most advanced centres of information in the world,” said Blatter. “Through a sophisticated network dedicated for this event, it will be linking the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa to the rest of the football family all over the globe. This way it will create a legacy far beyond the event in terms of telecommunications infrastructure for the country.”

Masondo added that hosting the IBC would have a positive effect on Johannesburg’s gross domestic product, with direct expenditure exceeding R340-million and over 3 000 jobs being be created.

“When we look at the projected spend by the media contingent we proceed from the existing figure that business tourists to South Africa spend on average R2 002 per day,” Masondo said. “Thus, the estimated spend in Johannesburg in 2010 by the foreign broadcaster contingent at the IBC is R209-million and the total direct spend that is projected in the city due to the hosting of the IBC is R319.9-million.”

Strategically positioned

2010 Local Organising Committee chief executive Danny Jordaan said Johannesburg managed to pip the two other cities because of its superior accommodation and transport infrastructure.

“The IBC is not only within walking distance of the Soccer City stadium, which is hosting the opening and final matches, but moreover it is strategically well positioned in close proximity to various other 2010 Fifa World Cup stadiums, including Ellis Park, Loftus Versfeld and Royal Bafokeng, just to name a few,” Jordaan said.

In closing, Masondo said the city was excited about the prospect of hosting the world’s TV and radio stations as well as Fifa’s host broadcaster.

“For a six-week period during the 2010 Fifa World Cup the eyes of the world will be focused on our city but in reality, the entire South Africa, indeed the whole continent of Africa, will be in the global spotlight,” he said.

Source: City of Johannesburg