Al Jazeera at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa
That noble gesture is only a small part of Al Jazeera Sport’s operation, and at the pinnacle of their mission is 3D technology. “We would like to be market leaders in this aspect. We are supporting the FIFA approach to 3D and are eager to deliver it to our viewers.” Broadcasting to an average of 50 million viewers over 23 territories across the Middle East and North Africa, Al Jazeera have a wide mix of cultures to cater for. They will be broadcasting in Arabic and English over four dedicated channels, with optional French commentary in the relevant areas. With full HD coverage of all 64 games, 25 broadcasts in 3D, bulletins from South Africa and online coverage in both Arabic and English, there is a multitude of ways for subscribers to follow the action. Consequently, the Qatari broadcaster has brought a large crew to Africa. A total of 360 staff, including 15 reporters, nine SNG crews, 18 ENG crews and three OB vans plus two studios at the IBC, one in Cape Town and venue-specific studios, mean they will have a presence at every match.
Yousif is particularly enthusiastic about Al Jazeera’s outside presentation facility at the IBC. “Our studio will be used to host our morning show and news bulletins,” he said. “It lends a level of credibility and gives us a good sense of being close to the action at Soccer City, plus it offers something different to a traditional studio set.” Such a logistical operation could easily have become problematic, but good management has seen everything go to plan. “The long travel distances to South Africa could have given us difficulties but everything has run smoothly. With good planning any obstacle can be overcome,” explained Yousif confidently.