Indian Premier League 2010 February 16, 2010

Indian news channels not to cover IPL 2010

Cricinfo staff

The IPL has been hit with another potential controversy with Indian news broadcasters deciding not to cover the third season in protest against what it called "arbitrary" guidelines and contentious clauses regarding tournament footage. The decision followed a meeting between the News Broadcasters' Association and officials of the IPL and Set Max, the tournament rights holder.

The NBA, which has 34 member channels, said the IPL and Set Max officials "arbitrarily" refused to abide by the 2008 norms, which had been agreed on by all.

"In view of this position, unilaterally taken by IPL/Set Max, members of the NBA are unable to offer to their viewers any coverage in relation to IPL or its proposed matches," the association said. "Inconvenience caused to our viewers by this unreasonable commercial approach of IPL/Set MAX is regretted."

The media coverage guidelines for 2010 have reduced the duration of match footage that news channels can carry -- 30 seconds per bulletin and seven minutes a day. Repeats will be allowed three times a day, as against four previously, and while match footage could earlier be telecast with a five-minute delay from the end of the live telecast, it has been expanded to a half-hour delay.

The first IPL season was boycotted by the international news agencies over certain contentious clauses in the media accreditation guidelines, including a bar on supplying photographs to cricket-specific websites such as Cricinfo.

The second season witnessed a repeat after News Media Coalition, the umbrella body that includes global news and photograph agencies Reuters, AP, AFP and Getty Images, objected over the same clause. However, the boycott was lifted after the IPL removed the clause from the terms of coverage.

The 2010 tournament has already run into controversies with Shiv Sena threatening not to allow the Australian players in Mumbai as long as attack continues on the Indians living in Australia.