6 November 2008
Following a strategic cooperation agreement between Fifa and the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), spectators in sub-Saharan Africa will be able to view the 2010 Fifa World Cup free of charge.
According to Fifa, the agreement ensures the broadcasting of all 64 World Cup matches live on free-to-air television and radio in 41 African territories in English, French and Portuguese.
Fifa has selected the AUB as its partner for the region based on its capacity to reach the largest possible audience, as well as its commitment to broadcasting development and tailored programming and content exchange in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The AUB has shown considerable strengths in uniting broadcasters under one umbrella to ensure that all sub-Saharan Africans will be able to have access to the radio and TV coverage of and around the 2010 Fifa World Cup,” Fifa President Sepp Blatter said in Cotonou, Benin, last week.
“We always promised that 2010 would be an African World Cup, and with today’s cooperation agreement we have made a big step towards achieving this goal.”
‘Win in Africa with Africa’
The partnership extends to the coverage of the men’s and youth tournaments to be staged in Africa in 2009 and 2010, as all broadcasters have to meet jointly agreed criteria in the framework of Fifa’s “Win in Africa with Africa” initiative to be eligible for the rights.
The criteria covers a range of commercial and technical requirements designed to ensure the development of football’s technical and commercial infrastructure on the African continent far beyond 2010.
African production centre
Fifa and the AUB will also establish an African production centre at the International Broadcast Centre in Johannesburg during the World Cup to ensure customised, high-quality coverage for African viewers.
The strategic cooperation agreement also provides for the establishment of the AUB-Fifa Broadcast Academy
“It accords with the goals of our union for sustainability and will facilitate the achievement of one of the goals we adopted as legacies for Africa from the world cup in South Africa, namely capacity development of broadcasting in Africa,” said AUB chief executive Lawrence Atiase.
“We are fully committed to playing our part, and we thank Fifa for placing their trust in the AUB’s ability to deliver.”