Thursday, April 10, 2008

News agencies to ignore IPL

The Press Trust of India (PTI) has joined international agencies in calling for a modifications in the media guidelines for the Indian Premier League, failing which they have decided to ignore the event.

PTI's reluctance to accept the terms and conditions will no doubt come as a big blow to the IPL, considering the reach that the agency enjoys across various Indian publications. "We have not applied for accreditation [the last date was April 10] because the current terms and conditions are not acceptable to us," VS Chandrashekar, an executive editor with PTI, told Cricinfo. "We will cover the event only if the media guidelines are changed."

Despite the IPL releasing fresh terms and conditions after vociferous protests from the media against its original guidelines on accreditation for the event, news agencies are still left high and dry because they are prohibited from selling photographs to websites or newspapers.

The News Media Coalition, the umbrella body that has under its wings global news and photograph agencies Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France Presse and Getty Images, had expressed deep concerns about limitations on access imposed by the IPL.

Barry Parker, AFP's South Asia bureau chief, stuck to his earlier stance and it is learnt that Reuters and AP, the two other major international agencies, were also of a similar view.

Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, had an almost two-hour meeting with representatives of various media in India on Monday, and all parties announced later that they had removed most of the bottlenecks. Even then, some of the contentious clauses remained, including the ban on selling photographs and the bar on representatives from websites covering matches.