In the lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, In Focus will feature news relating to events involving the Film and Television industry in preparation for this great occasion.

We’ll be talking to broadcasters, suppliers, relevant authorities, eventing companies, all those involved who may have an impact on our industry.  Should you be one of these people or businesses, please contact us and let us know of your contribution.

Nic Bonthuys - SABC
In the first of these articles, we speak to Nic Bonthuys, acting CTO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

In Focus: Please advise how you’re gearing up for the World Cup?
Bonthuys: The SABC is building four new 20 camera High Definition (HD) Outside Broadcast (OB) units and a Sports Hub to be ready in time for 2010.

In Focus: Who are your main equipment suppliers?
Bonthuys: There is no specific supplier. The SABC uses most of the broadcast equipment suppliers.

In Focus: Explain your role in 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and also explain the term ‘Host Broadcaster’.
Bonthuys: The SABC is the Official National Broadcaster, but not the host broadcaster. The host broadcaster is HBS (Host Broadcast Services) – a specific service, run in exactly the same manner as previous soccer world cups around the globe.

In Focus: Advise how many OB trucks will be coming from overseas.
Bonthuys: It has not been decided how many units will be used by HBS (to my knowledge), but it’s likely to be Fly-aways and not OB trucks. Fly-aways are much more compact and transportable.

In Focus: Where will the Broadcast Centre be located?
Bonthuys: The Broadcast Centre will be at Nasrec, close to Johannesburg CBD.

In Focus: What is the format which will be used, and will it be HD? If so, will the SABC be broadcasting in this format?
Bonthuys: It is likely to be in 1080i HD. The SABC will not however be broadcasting in HD, but will provide a Standard Definition (SD) signal.

In Focus: Please advise crewing plans and venues.
Bonthuys: The SABC will not be involved in producing the world feed (this is HBS’s task), however we will have extensive unilateral facilities at each venue and also at the ‘Fan Parks’ and public viewing areas. There will be a huge shortage of crew over this period since HBS will be sourcing some of the local available resources as well. There will be 10 stadiums; the SABC will have OB facilities at all these venues including the ‘Fan parks’ and public viewing areas. OB units will be moved around to cope with the production requirements.

In Focus: So when will you be installing the vans and cameras etc. at the venues?
Bonthuys: OB units will be installed approximately two days before the match day at each event and in some cases in an even shorter time. HBS will install and test their facilities probably about two weeks before kickoff.

In Focus: Please advise how long you will be involved with the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africafrom a shoot point of view?
Bonthuys: The SABC will be involved in scene setting from approximately two months before the start of the event and many of the world cup venues will be used in our normal programming. Then there is of course the Confederations Cup in 2009, for which the SABC hopes to contract three HD OB units to HBS to cover this event.

In Focus: Thanks very much.