BCCI restrictions 'unacceptable' October 9, 2008

Reuters suspends coverage of Australia tour

Cricinfo staff

International news agency Reuters has suspended coverage of Australia's series in India as a result of what it has called "unacceptable" conditions imposed by the Indian board.

"The terms that journalists must sign before being given match accreditation include a bar on distributing photographs to cricket website portals which Reuters say is unacceptable," a statement on the company's website said. "Behind the dispute lies growing media concern that sporting bodies' increasing determination to maximise commercial benefit from their events is restricting press freedom to cover them and distribute their images and news as they see fit."

It continued that it would also refuse to cover matches in Australia unless Cricket Australia relaxed accreditation terms for games there, echoing a dispute that led to a partial blackout of the Brisbane Test in 2007-08. Other agencies are believed to be taking a similar stance with CA.

In India, Agence France Presse (AFP) said it was covering the series for the moment. "We are taking it day by day," Giles Hewitt, the agency's Delhi bureau chief, told Cricinfo. "As of now we are covering the first Test, and have been in touch with the BCCI."

"This [BCCI] decision compromises our ability to report independently and objectively in these countries, and comes at the expense of global fans and sponsors," Christoph Pleitgen, global head of news agency for Thomson Reuters, said. "We would like to resume our timely, premium coverage as quickly as possible, pending a solution to the current situation.

"Freedom of the press and protecting the news interests and coverage rights of our global clients are at the core of both our business and Reuters editorial principles, and these must be upheld."

"Sport needs the media and the media needs sport," a spokesman for CA said. "It's part of a global debate. We are working our way through this and I think we are pretty close [to an agreement] but to date Reuters has not applied for accreditation for the summer."

The BCCI, Reuters said, will issue a statement on Friday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Riyas on October 10, 2008, 11:36 GMT


    why r u blaming indian cricket??

    its Cricket Austrailia that came up with the idea in the first place.

  • Andrew on October 10, 2008, 10:36 GMT

    The press companies are making millions every year and not putting anything back into the game. Has a test series ever been sponsored by Reuters etc? Well done to the Cricket boards for standing firm and demanding their share of the pot. So what if Reuters does not cover the game, I can always log onto Cricinfo and get live coverage. Hopefully the extra cash demanded by the boards will be pumped back into development. Regards Andrew

  • Steve on October 10, 2008, 2:59 GMT

    The coffers of the BCCI (a not-for-profit organisation, so God knows where the cash goes) only buys power if nations allow it. Call their bluff: if India has no one to play, its people will be angry and will demand answers. Indians are fanatical about cricket, but are intelligent. They are stunned when opponents play well and come down hard on their guys if they fail. That's their personality and teams use it; keeping boundaries down so crowds quieten and turn on their team. If nations had the guts to use that knowledge and apply it on a larger scale, they would apply pressure by not playing India if they get silly. Not playing them equates to keeping the boundaries down; the people will quieten and their frustration will grow. Hey, since when were cricket boards just about money, anyway? They aren't businesses; they only need enough to play guys, maintain grounds and invest at the grass-roots. Yet Indian grounds are poor and they needed rich folk to fund the IPL. Makes you wonder.

  • Ian on October 10, 2008, 2:26 GMT

    I had the same impression when this happened in Australia, but I think the main problem is that the management of these national cricketing organizations no longer think in terms of what is good for the game, but instead are just obsessed with their bottom line.

  • David on October 9, 2008, 20:46 GMT

    This is a worrying trend these days. Cricket Australia had a similar issue recently where the press boycotted the last Brisbane Test. This is what happens when lawyers, accountants and so-called marketing gurus are allowed to run riot at the expense of those with a cricket background. I appreciate the need to generate revenue but does this mean cameras will now be confiscated from the paying public? I like forward to the next ten years, a police state run by accountants. Can't wait. Cricket authorities should concentrate on getting their money from sponsors but leave the press alone. This way can only lead to tears.

  • roger on October 9, 2008, 17:42 GMT

    There is nothing wrong with it and will be good for cricket. Most of these agencies under the name of free/freedom press, push biased articles.

    The issue is not reporting, issue is selling the info. portals and most of the portals are biased now a days. Still, you can pay money and publish biased reports. If there are no readers where the money will come from !!!!

    Some trash reports (incl. cricinfo) against BCCI and Indian cricket will come down. We do not want Reuters coverage, we can afford pay per view which we are enjoying now a days...

  • Stuart on October 9, 2008, 17:35 GMT

    You have to wonder what the sponsors of the team etc. think. Having paid good money for their branding to be on the team kit and all around the boundary boards, you'd think they'd want to maximise the number of people who see them. Maybe the point could be made by attaching stock images with a different, ideally competing, sponsor on the involved players' kit.

  • Salman on October 9, 2008, 15:25 GMT

    these thugs are crazy of money... where they are going to pile up all these dollars!

    sports should be listed in human rights!!!

    freedom of press should be entertained!!!

    where's the parliamentarians!! its only a couple of years back they legislated that all the 'important' matches of india should be shown live on DD!

    is it a one-way traffic! won't the same logic apply to global citizens too!!

  • Anup on October 9, 2008, 15:12 GMT

    BCCI officials have always searched ways for making money! To them the Board of Control for Cricket in India has only ONE key word - 'CONTROL' - not cricket. That is why they could not tolerate ICL and as a result Team India lost the opportunity of utilising a lot of talented young players! But do they care? Not at all because 'cricket' is only a means of making money for them. The welfare of the game and the players is not at the top of their agenda! I feel that both the print and visual media should start boycotting such greedy sport administrators. That will dry up their source of revenue and perhaps bring them back to the earth.

  • utkarsh on October 9, 2008, 13:57 GMT

    it makes me to irk a lil bit when I look at the disgrace that is brought to the revered sport through the sleazy and brazenly cheap ways of BCCI....really....i hope the game is saved.....

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