/ 31 March 2008

Fifa: Free public viewing of 2010 World Cup

South Africans will be able to watch the 2010 Soccer World Cup for free on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) television or at public viewing events, soccer’s governing body Fifa announced on Monday.

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said the SABC, official Fifa broadcasting partner, did not need a licence to broadcast the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2009 or the 2010 World Cup.

The broadcasting rights would be allowed strictly for non-commercial purposes, said Valcke.

Pubs, clubs, restaurants and bars would not need to apply for a broadcasting licence if these establishments did not charge admission fees or participate in sponsorship activities.

”It is extremely important for us that the first Fifa World Cup in Africa touches as broad an audience as possible — not only those inside the World Cup stadiums — in the most meaningful way.

”We hope that with free access to non-commercial public viewings, all fans in South Africa will be able to enjoy and be part of the incredible Fifa World Cup experience and transform many communities into a hub of football passion during the two upcoming events,” said Valcke.

SABC CEO Dali Mpofu said public viewing events were gaining in popularity with South Africans.

Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 local organising committee, said: ”It is great news for the organising committee that all South Africans now have the opportunity to share the Fifa World Cup feeling within their communities, irrespective of whether they live in a small or a big city. It is important to us that all South Africans experience these historic moments together.”

Only exhibitors who wanted to organise a public viewing event of a commercial nature (by charging an admission fee or marketing sponsorships) would have to apply for a public viewing licence from Fifa through the official website.

All revenues generated by public viewing licence fees in South Africa would be donated to the official campaign of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, ”20 Centres for 2010”. The campaign aims to raise $10-million to construct 20 Football for Hope centres across Africa, said Valcke. — Sapa