JOHANNESBURG has beaten bids by Cape Town and Durban to host the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
More than R400m will be spent on facilities at Nasrec to enable broadcasters to reach about 30-billion viewers across the globe.
Communications Deputy Minister Roy Padayachee said yesterday the IBC would have the most up-to-date digital broadcast telecommunications systems available to provide for an estimated 3000 broadcast journalists during the event.
While the IBC had always been a temporary communication structure for other Fifa World Cup events, the Nasrec precinct was under-utilised. The IBC would become a key legacy project for business and sporting-related businesses in a safe hi-tech node which would eventually include residential, shopping and entertainment developments.
Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo said yesterday that Germany hosted 13400 accredited TV commentators, camera crew members and technical staff at its IBC at the 2006 Fifa World Cup.
This event attracted 26,29 billion viewers and research by media agency Sponsorship Intelligence showed a 15% rise in TV audiences from 2002 to 2006. “All indications are this trend will continue in the year 2010,” Masondo said.
“Apart from the growth in conventional TV audiences we will also experience a World Cup where new technology including digital broadcasting and other media platforms will deliver information, visuals and sound. Live streaming on the internet and on mobile phones will, by then, be the norm rather than an exception,” he said.
The city will invest R120m in the IBC, the main expenditure being to rent and upgrade facilities from the Expo Centre.
The private sector is already partnering with the city to develop 500 residential units and a four-star hotel in the precinct.
Fifa World Cup Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan said stadium construction was on schedule and would be completed by October next year, six months before the event.