Blog Post

IPL And Media Publications At Loggerheads Over Restrictive New Media Guidelines

The Indian Premier League is certainly throwing its weight around, and pushing its luck – the media guidelines issued regarding the much hyped and controversial Twenty20 Cricket tournament, reportedly include clauses related to Internet reports and photographs that have media organizations up in arms. So what are the restrictions?

Website Accredition: The IPL has refused to grant accredition to websites for the event. I wonder if that includes Cricinfo, which primarily depends on the Internet and mobile, but has a magazine as well. Almost all publications and TV channels have websites with Cricket coverage…will their media accredition be revoked?
Photographs: For most media publications, the problem is around photographs: The IPL is claiming sole copyright for the images, and no match images are allowed to be made available on mobile either. Photographers are required to first upload photos on the official IPL website within 24 hours. Apparently: “The IPL shall be entitled to use and reproduce, free of charge, worldwide and without limit in any time and all photographs/images captured by the accredited party at any group…”

So what’s being done? The Sports Journalists Federation of India and the Editors Guild of India have written to BCCI President Sharad Pawar expressing “alarm and concern”. They’ve called the claims ridiculous. The Agence France-Press (AFP) has said they can’t cover the tournament. Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY) and the Associated Press are considering a boycott.

This isn’t the first time a Cricket authority has been at loggerheads with the media – in 2006, Cricket Australia had banned online video coverage of the Ashes series between Australia and England, also threating to revoke press accredition for journalists.

The IPL has has a prize money of Rs 12 Crores (around $3 million), and sponsorship is around the Rs. 500 crore ($125 million) mark. Here’s the match schedule.

Update: Some fire-fighting expected from the BCCI – ToI reports that the IPL representatives will discuss the issue with media representatives today. Given that there’s a politician at the helm of the BCCI, I wonder if a “rollback” is in the offing. However, a compromise solution will still mean that media guidelines will be more stringent than normal.

5 Responses to “IPL And Media Publications At Loggerheads Over Restrictive New Media Guidelines”

  1. g k agrawal

    While BCCI/IPL 's recent plan of having 8 cricket leagues-zone wise and making each a composition of Indian and international cricket players have been a very innovative concept, which has created thrill in the cricket world, aroused interest of big industrialists, bollywood stars and would certainly promote cricket as one World Cricket and would give much larger canvas to Indian players to international experience sharing and multi-national cricket community play, it has its prima facie side effects also. Players have been auctioned like cattle auction in the cattle fairs( sorry for the comparison), commercial owners of leagues, players and game have been created, cricket has been turned from pure game to a commercial play and owners are expecting outcome and performance like any other business proposition and India has been divided into 8 mini India.This was very much evident at the time of recent bitter incidence of Bhaji with Srisanth and the public outburst, anguish, and disappointment by Mr. Vijay Mallya, the owner of Royal Challengers, Bangalore on the continuous down slide in its performance. Plans ,if any, to improve the cricket infrastructure, training, game practicing facilities and encouraging the youngsters, which is the need of the Hour, are yet to make any visibility and impact. . It is not sure as to how bitterness and heart burnings, if any, amongst Indian players in different Leagues would not be coming in the way of performance of the Indian Team while playing series with international teams and how far they will successfully perform as one Team representing INDIA. Another apprehension is that Indian players while playing international cricket may expect also much higher remuneration for their play. Owners of the Leagues may have to appreciate that so long the Game is enjoyed, winning /losing is its essential part and cannot be avoided. We better not create a Commercial Hype of Cricket, let the Sanctity be maintained and Cricket played as Game and other considerations being secondary.

  2. MobStir

    The BCCI and most celebrities forget that these things become a big deal because the same media makes them as such.

    The IPL has been the only thing on newspapers (business and others), television and magazines. Breathless reporting and coverage, every move and team analysed and for what? 6 teams representing 6 cities playng each other and each of the teams much like politicians with no connection to the constituency it represents.

    Im sure it will make for great cricket but I am happy that this is happening, I hope the BCCI wins and blacks out all media. It will teach the press about not going overboard and creating monsters they dont know how to deal with.

    The BCCI will learn a few lessons along the way as well when the boycotts hit them and the first season of the IPL goes down in flames.

    But then, when Mukesh, Shah Rukh, Preity and others are around a compromise deal cant be too far away. So fundamentally – there will be no lessons learnt…just another few inches of slide downhill.

  3. Ranveer Khanna

    very interesting …. if the matches are good then ….they would be made available easily on youtube ……..

    good luck fighting IPL GUYS

  4. Saurav Sen

    Has PIB changed its policy of accreditation for web journalists? Online journalists working with entities like Rediff, TOI Online etc have long struggled to get accreditation done for covering Parliament, PMO etc but failed. As a result, rediff guys used India Abroad, while TOI Online had to share TOI's quota to get their job done. With a politician and minister at the helm, some things would obviously be the same at BCCI too, aint it? So what if they are hiring a US firm to build their website.