Fifa, SABC unveil deal

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

SABC and Fifa yesterday announced plans to ensure that South Africans get maximum access to the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

In terms of the agreement between the two structures unveiled at Safa House, the SABC will grant free access for non-commercial public viewing areas.

"In 2006, we signed television and radio rights for the 2010 and 2014 world cups," said Dali Mpofu, SABC's chief executive officer.

"It also covers various other Fifa tournaments, including international youth events, the Women's World Cup and the Confederations Cup.

"The SABC would control radio and television in the territory of South Africa. Non-commercial public sites will be granted the broadcast signal free of charge.

"The local municipalities and other government structures will challenge to take the World Cup to rural areas and townships.

"One of the key objectives is to maximise the number of South Africans and indeed African participation in the World Cup.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to bring the games to the football-loving masses of our people and to unite the nation."

Also present at the media briefing was Niclas Ericson, Fifa director of television, who said they wanted all South Africans to have access to the World Cup.

"We are happy to be working with the SABC as a partner. We also have mobile phones where MTN are working with us, which is good."

However, Ericson was quick to point out that people using the public viewing areas for financial gain through posters will have to pay to access the signal.

Ericson said they would deal with those using the signal to promote rival companies of Fifa partners, including liquor and other products.

Tim Modise, the LOC's communications director, said they were finalising the logistics of the fan parks with the host cities.

The public viewing areas would be organised by individuals and communities, with the host cities being in charge of the fan parks.