Media threatens to boycott IPL over unfair restrictions

Published: Friday, April 4, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: The Indian Premier League's (IPL) 'draconian' accreditation terms for media, including a regulation that prevents news websites in using photographs, has invited strong protest from media community.

Editors Guild of India, a representative body of editors of newspapers, news agencies and television news channels, wrote a letter to BCCI president Sharad Pawar demanding withdrawal of the ill-thought out rules.

"With deep regret and dismay, we are forced to point out that there are prohibitive conditions in the Terms&Conditions attached with the form, specifically paras (d) and (e), which deal with conditions of Accreditation for Print Media and Photographers These conditions are unprecedented and unacceptable to the Indian media, to say the least," said the letter that was signed by Guild President Alok Mehta and Secretary-General K.S.Sachidananda Murthy.

The conditions include the IPL's ownership right to use all pictures taken at its grounds for free and without restrictions; the commitment by news organisations to upload on the IPL site, within 24 hours, all images taken at the ground; and the restriction of web portals' access to images without prior permission from the IPL.

The Sports Journalists' Federation of India also issued a statement expressing "alarm and concern" over the IPL's riders and asked that the "unfair and unethical restrictions being placed on the media be withdrawn unconditionally".

Media organisations have been given time till April 8 to comply with these conditions for securing accreditation for coverage of the tournament.

Agence-France-Press South Asian bureau chief Barry Parker indicated that the agency was considering a boycott in the wake of new developments

"The terms and conditions are too strict and raise questions about press freedom. The present terms and conditions don't allow us to cover the event," Parker was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.

In November 2007, Cricket Australia too tried to impose a similiar kind of accreditation rule on news agencies which led to a media boycott of the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka.

The dispute centred on unprecedented demands being made by CA, according to the media organisations at the centre of the dispute, including one that they hand over rights to all photos taken at matches.


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