Agreement allows free viewing of 2010 World Cup
By press time it had not been confirmed or denied by national broadcasting office (ORINFOR) whether Rwandans will be watching the 2010 Fifa World Cup in the comfort of their seating rooms.
Following a strategic cooperation agreement between Fifa and the African Union of Broadcasters (AUB), Sub-Saharan Africa will be able to view the 2010 Fifa World Cup free of charge.
On Wednesday, the General Assembly of the African Union of Broadcasters (AUB) in Cotonou, Benin, world football governing, Fifa 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.
However, its not know if ORINFOR will broadcast the matches as its top officials who Times Sport contacted could not confirm the development.
When contacted ORINFOR’s Director General Oscar Kimanuka referred Times Sport to ORINFOR’s in charge of sports Damien Hakizimana who preferred to be texted instead of a telephone interview however, by press time he hadn’t answered our SMS.
Numerous efforts to get a comment from TV Rwanda’s Director Kije Mugisha were futile as she was reported to be in a meeting.
This arrangement comes as a relief to most national broadcasters at a time when broadcast rights fees have soared beyond the reach of most media houses on the continent.
Earlier in the year ORINFOR failed to raise $420,000 the sum demanded by broadcasting rights holders LOC for the broadcasting rights of the 26th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations that was held in Ghana.
The battle for broadcasting rights has become fierce of recent with GTV and Supersport fighting for Africa’s audience.
GTV has taken on the sponsorship of the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) the second beneficiary after Ugandan soccer governing body FUFA, to land a GTV sponsorship deal in Africa and the Tanzania’s national football league.
While Supersport International signed an agreement with Kenyan league to sponsor the Premier League, a deal that was hailed as a milestone by the officials.
All broadcasters will have to meet jointly agreed criteria in the framework of Fifa’s Win in Africa with Africa initiative to be eligible for the rights a statement on Fifa website said.
Fifa selected the AUB as the partner for sub-African region based on its capacity to reach the largest possible audience as well as its commitment to broadcasting across sub-Saharan Africa.
The African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) is the new name that was given, to the Union of National Radio and Television organisations of Africa (URTNA).