On the occasion of the General Assembly of the African Union of Broadcasters (AUB) in Cotonou, Benin, FIFA today (29 October 2008) announced another major milestone on the way to the first FIFA World Cup™ on the African continent in 2010. FIFA and the AUB concluded a strategic cooperation agreement for the handling of the over-the-air television and radio rights for the sub-Saharan region for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. The agreement ensures the distribution and broadcasting of all 64 FIFA World Cup matches live on free-to-air television and radio in 41 territories in English, French and Portuguese.
FIFA has selected the AUB as the partner for that region based on its capacity to reach the largest possible audience as well as its commitment to broadcasting development and tailored programming/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. 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," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
The partnership goes far beyond 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 cover 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. The strategic cooperation agreement provides for the establishment of the AUB-FIFA Broadcast Academy. FIFA and the AUB will also establish an African production centre at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Johannesburg during the 2010 event to ensure customised, high-quality coverage for the African viewers of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
"For us at AUB the deal was a dream come true for 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 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, namely capacity development of broadcasting in Africa. We are fully committed to playing our part and we thank FIFA for placing their trust in the AUB's ability to deliver," said Lawrence Atiase, CEO of the AUB.