FIFA to earn about $3 bn from world cup TV rights

April 21st, 2009 - 1:50 am ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, April 21 (Xinhua) Soccer’s world governing body FIFA will earn about 25 billion rand (about $2.7 billion) from television rights to broadcast the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, an official said.
FIFA TV director Niclas Ericson told reporters that it was a massive increase from the 22 billion rand FIFA received for the past two World Cups combined.

FIFA was also making the 2010 spectacle available to millions of fans via their cellphones worldwide, Ericson said at a media briefing here Monday.

FIFA would spend an estimated 1.5 billion rand on TV production for the event.

However, Ericson said he was expecting a viewership of just over 26 billion worldwide for the duration of the month-long tournament, the same number that watched the 2006 event in Germany.

He said: “It is difficult to estimate the viewership expected. Had a country like China with 1.3 billion people qualified for the World Cup, then viewership would have soared.

“Although we are not quite at the saturation point, it is difficult to estimate how many viewers we will have even in Africa. It depends on how well African teams perform in the World Cup, but we expect it will be roughly the same as in 2006.”

Ericson said FIFA would give Africa a better deal for the 2010 finals.

“We have entered an agreement with the African Union of Broadcasters to place the TV rights in 41 sub-Saharan countries before the end of 2009. The dream would be for an African team to reach the final, which would boost TV viewership.

FIFA would now do the broadcast in-house with HBS as the host broadcaster and the SABC as the official broadcaster.

The CEO of HBS Francis Tellier also announced that all World Cup matches would be available on cellphones worldwide.

Tellier said instead of a maximum of 25 cameras used in Germany for broadcast in 2006, the 2010 event would see a minimum of 29.

Ericson said a FIFA TV crew would travel with every participating team and would produce features for all broadcasters.

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