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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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World Cup 2010 on the BBC: TV coverage

The World Cup 2010. As the first African World Cup, it is about much more than what happens on the pitch. That's why the BBC will be bringing viewers not only comprehensive, in-depth coverage of all the action, but also news and reports from around South Africa, giving a flavour of the history and culture of the nation – as well as seeing first-hand the effect the tournament is having on the country.

But naturally it's the football that is the main focus of the coverage and the BBC team are gearing up to provide the best possible coverage for viewers – with 32 live games, more than 20 highlights programmes and around 110 hours of domestic World Cup coverage across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Three.

The Match Of The Day team will present from a studio just a few hundred metres from Cape Town Stadium, with a backdrop of South Africa's most famous landmark, Table Mountain, enabling them to capture all the colour and excitement of the event.

Damian Johnson will be out and about around the venues to get a flavour of the atmosphere in the stadia and Gabby Logan will be in Rustenburg to gather all the news and views from the England camp. Garth Crooks will be based in Johannesburg to cover the venues in and around the city and also get the inside track from those hosting and organising the tournament. Roger Johnson will be providing reports and commentary.

An innovation for this World Cup is the BBC Bus, which will be travelling the length and breadth of South Africa with teams from TV, radio and online on board to discover the effect the World Cup is having on its people and to gather news and stories reflecting the heritage and culture of the country. The bus replaces the roving crews that have been at previous tournaments, providing a more comprehensive portrait of the country in a more cost-effective way.

Kick off times are at 12.30pm, 3pm and 7.30pm, and all the BBC games will also be shown in HD and simultaneously online. For the evening games, the programmes will run on BBC One from 7-10pm, giving ample opportunity to catch up on all the news and features from the tournament and the Bus.

Football Focus will also come from the Cape Town studio, which will host 12 World Focus programmes on BBC World News, on red button and the BBC Sport website. During the simultaneous group games there will be two matches live on BBC Three and two available on the Red Button.

Once again, the BBC's top team will be in place for the tournament. Gary Lineker hosts the live games, with popular experts – including Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Lee Dixon – joined by leading names from the world of football. These include World Cup winner and former Spurs hero Jurgen Klinsmann; former African Footballer of the Year Emmanuel Adebayor, of Manchester City; and Clarence Seedorf, the former Dutch international who has won more Champions League medals than any other player.

And in a technology first for the BBC's World Cup coverage, Libero, a 3D Matrix-style device, will be used to enhance their analysis. Successfully trialled during the later stages of the League Cup, Libero is the most advanced and sophisticated analysis system currently available. Able to generate arbitrary virtual camera images, it gives unprecedented insight into the game's talking points and will work in conjunction with existing system, Piero, as seen on Match Of The Day.

In associated programming, BBC Four looks at the arts and culture, life and landscape of southern Africa in its Wonderful Africa season, which includes: The Tutu Talks, in which Archbishop Desmond Tutu tackles the most challenging issues facing Africa today; famous photographer Rankin explaining why it's the photography of South Africa that has always gripped his imagination; award-winning journalist Sean Langan telling the story of modern day Africa through those who live, work and depend on the Freedom Railway; and Richard E Grant, a native of Swaziland, exploring the controversial History Of Safari.

Blue Peter builds up the excitement on BBC One with their countdown to kick-off beginning four days prior to the opening game. And BBC News will be providing coverage from 5am until at least midnight each day across all its outlets and platforms. The BBC HD Channel will show extensive coverage of the 2010 World Cup – including re-runs of some of the biggest games in the tournament – bringing viewers stunning high definition images of all the action from South Africa.

For Executive Producer Phil Bigwood, it's the culmination of three years' planning – he made his first recce to South Africa back in 2007.

"The main difficulties this time are the logistics due to the size of the country and the existing infrastructure," he explains.

"But our most difficult decision was where to base the BBC's main TV studio. We try, where possible, to present from the host country because feedback tells us that our audiences expect this kind of closeness to the action and that it adds to their enjoyment of the whole event. Past studios – remember the Brandenburg Gate in Germany 2006 or the one in Paris for France 98 – helped us to create programmes that left TV audiences feeling immersed in the tournament. I believe this will be more important than ever in South Africa.

"The huge distances involved made the prospect of hopping from ground to ground to present impractical and ridiculously expensive, so we opted for one fixed base and it came down to a straight choice between Johannesburg or Cape Town.

"After much debate, we went for Cape Town and our studio will be on the roof of a hospital, with great views of Table Mountain. Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for so long, is also visible as is downtown Cape Town, where Mandela made his historic address from the balcony of City Hall following his release.

"We chose those views because we believe they are the ones that will resonate most with UK viewers, but we are perfectly placed for the football as well with Cape Town Stadium (where England play Algeria) just a few hundred metres away."

BBC TV on-air team

Gary Lineker

England Camp presenter:
Gabby Logan

Highlights presenter:
Colin Murray

Studio experts:
Alan Hansen
Alan Shearer
Lee Dixon
Gordon Strachan
John Motson
Jurgen Klinsmann
Emmanuel Adebayor
Clarence Seedorf

Jonathan Pearce
Steve Wilson
Guy Mowbray
Simon Brotherton
Steve Bower

Roving Reporters:
Manish Bhasin
Garth Crooks
Damian Johnson
Roger Johnson

BBC Bus reporters:
Dan Walker
Rob Walker

Mark Lawrenson
Mark Bright
Mick McCarthy
Martin Keown

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