24 May 2010
South Africa’s R978-million International Broadcast Centre is ready to transmit images of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ to billions of viewers around the world, the organisers said as local and international media were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility last week.
The delivery of the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) was one of a number guarantees South Africa made to Fifa. The centre cost about R978-million to set up and will officially open on 2 June.
Communications Minister Simphiwe Nyanda commended the Local Organising Committee, Fifa, Telkom and Sentech for their involvement in the setting up of the broadcasting centre.
The 30 000 square metre centre is situated in Nasrec to south of Johannesburg, a stone’s throw away from Soccer City Stadium and Safa House. A dedicated network will link the 10 World Cup venues and more than 500 broadcasters in 214 countries to the images of the World Cup.
“It’s from here that the world will have a chance to watch the World Cup here in South Africa,” said Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke. “And it’s not a few countries, it’s more than 200 countries who will be watching the 64 matches live, so there is no World Cup without the IBC,” he said.
Nyanda said he was satisfied that the centre would be ready: “I would like to confirm that the ICT infrastructure as guaranteed by government is ready and functional for the world to witness the greatest football spectacular event on African soil,” he said.
Following a highly competitive process, Johannesburg was selected to host the IBC for the tournament, with city mayor Amos Masondo saying the broadcast centre would help the city to meet its developmental objectives and attract investment long after the World Cup.
“This will go a long way towards ensuring that our developmental objectives become a reality and attract investment to the city,” he said, adding that the greatest benefit of hosting the IBC for the city has been the catalytic effect it has had on the development of the Nasrec area.