The announcement was made today that the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011 will be televised.
In co-operation with the Dentsu Group in Japan, OFC has secured the rights for Oceania and will make the feed available to Fiji Television who will in turn distribute the footage across various Pacific Island nations.
The first match will feature 2011 O-League champions Auckland City against newly crowned J-League champions Kashiwa in the tournament’s preliminary play-off which kicks off this Thursday evening.
OFC General Secretary Tai Nicholas says there is likely to be a lot of interest after Auckland City’s previous performance at the Club World Cup.
“Many will remember the team’s heroic performances during the 2009 edition when they upset then hosts Al Ahli of UAE as well as the African champions TP Mazembe en route to a historic fifth place finish,” says Nicholas.
The winner of the opening match will go on to face CONCACAF champions CF Monterrey of Mexico in the quarter-final match before the semi-finals on 14/15 December and the Grand Final on 18 December in Yokohama.
Fiji Television will deliver free-to-air coverage in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with most games to be broadcast live and/or delayed. Countries that have the pay TV Sky Pacific platform, including Fiji, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, will be able to watch the matches live and delayed.
With OFC also facilitating coverage in New Zealand via SKY Television, Nicholas says it is encouraging to see broadcasters committing more airtime to the global game.
“It is a major coup for the Confederation to secure the rights for FIFA’s topflight competition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dentsu Group in Japan as well as Fiji TV and SKY TV for their cooperation in delivering this tournament to the fans.”
Fiji Television’s General Manager International Ken Clark says he is pleased to offer fans the tournament, which also includes the likes of UEFA Champions Barcelona and Pele’s former club Santos of Brazil.
“The ever growing popularity of football across the Pacific is a dramatic incentive for solid broadcasters to provide what their audiences want to see. This coverage definitely falls into that category.”