Opening Match Welcome from FIFA TV

M. Mahlalela, S. Wildemann, J. Ferguson, S. Schaeffner, M. Liddell, V. Forcolin, A. Knoke and A. Le Mintier

There have been many improvements between the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ but one change has perhaps benefitted broadcasters more than any other and that is the move of the FIFA TV office to within the IBC.

“It is important for us to be close to our clients,” explained Sven Schaeff­ner, Head of Broadcasting Servicing within the FIFA TV Division. “It was dif­ferent in 2006 when there was no FIFA office at the IBC, but it is important for us to have representation here on site. We are in constant contact with our clients and I think they appreciate that they don’t have to go up to FIFA HQ in Sandton to talk to someone.”

The FIFA TV Division, headed by Niclas Ericson, is in charge of all aspects relating to TV, Radio, Broadband and Mobile rights of FIFA including the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. FIFA TV handles the sales process of Media Rights and all contractual and commercial issues arising from the Media Rights Agreements placed in 216 territories worldwide. This is looked after by the Broadcaster Servicing department within FIFA TV as well as the FIFA Broad­caster Servicing Team (FBST). Please refer to MRL Newsletter #12 for more details. Furthermore, FIFA TV is responsible for all FIFA-owned audiovisual content, the FIFA Films archive, and the production of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in close cooperation with HBS. The department’s broad remit means there are many bases to be covered by the 19-strong team in South Africa, of which ten are based at the IBC.

“We work very closely with FBST on any issues relating to servicing the clients from approvals, accreditation, information services, ticketing etc.. We have our mobile representatives, Fan Fest representatives and someone from FIFA Communications. In addition we have a satellite consultant who helps us on any controversial distribution issues and we have someone who is still looking after last minute sales. It is quite a broad range of activities,” Sven explained.

The ultimate objective of FIFA TV is to take the FIFA World Cup™ to the widest possible audience and take advantage of the most up-to-date mar­kets and platforms. On top of this there is a desire to leave a legacy in South Africa, a move which will help to pay the country back for its warm hospi­tality during the event. “At any big event you have a hectic period in the last few days, so I’m very happy the tournament is about to start. What has really helped outweigh the challenges and difficulties is the way the South African people have welcomed us and been very friendly and hospitable. That is very important and has left a deep impression,” Sven concluded.