Indian Premier League April 18, 2008

Global news agencies to boycott IPL

Cricinfo staff

The Kolkata Knight Riders won't have global news agencies covering their high-profile inaugural game against the Bangalore Royal Challengers © AFP

Global news and photograph agencies will carry out their threat to boycott coverage of the Indian Premier League because of the restrictions on the distribution of photographs. Agencies are prohibited from providing photographs of the Twenty20 tournament to cricket-specific websites.

The News Media Coalition (NMC), the umbrella body that comprises global news and photograph agencies Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Getty Images, called the restrictions "discriminatory".

"It is discriminatory for the accreditation terms to prohibit international news agencies from being able to serve a specific group of users, such as cricket websites," the NMC said in a statement. "The interests of the IPL are protected by the fact that its accreditation terms limit news content generated by the news agencies to be used for editorial purposes only. The NMC calls upon the IPL to remove remaining obstacles in the way of full editorial coverage of the tournament."

The Editors Guild of India also called for the withdrawal of "unacceptable conditions" while the Press Trust of India, India's leading news agency, had said it would cover the event "under protest".

The tournament's initial media guidelines which, among other constraints, gave the IPL the right to use all pictures taken at its grounds for free and without restrictions, had met with severe criticism from media bodies. The IPL then removed some of the limitations imposed but news agencies, stand-alone cricket websites and news channels were still unhappy. News channels dropped their boycott threat after their two main issues - accreditation and access to match footage - were resolved.