New Delhi: The spat between the Indian Premier League (IPL) and News Broadcasters Association continues after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), IPL’s owner , refused accept the demands made by news channels pertaining to the coverage of the league’s cricket matches.
Photo: Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Two weeks ago, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), an industry body that represents 34 news channels threatened to boycott IPL’s third season that begins 12 March if the league did not relax guidelines on coverage. With just eight days to go before the start of the tournament, IPL has made no significant alterations to accommodate NBA’s wishlist.
On Wednesday, IPL released a list of seven “issues” in dispute between it, NBA, and the league’s broadcaster Multiscreen Media Pvt. Ltd (MSMPL). To justify its stand and to prove that NBA’s demands are excessive, the document lists the coverage guidelines for IPL 2010 and compares them with similar norms for international sporting events—the Rugby World Cup of 2007, the International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy in 2009, the PGA European Tour and the London Marathon.
For instance, IPL guidelines allow news channels only 30 seconds of fresh footage per bulletin with a maximum usage of two minutes per match per day while NBA is demanding two minutes of footage per bulletin and five-and-a-half minutes per game in a day.
Other issues on coverage of the tournament include the number of repeats of fresh footage in a day, nature of use for news broadcast and special programming around IPL, total use of archival footage in a day, norms governing delayed-feed of live matches allowed, and the consequences of breaking these rules.
“The BCCI-IPL, as the governing body and guardian of the DLF IPL, would like to place on record that it has acted in good faith in discussing all pertinent issues with the NBA and has offered constructive alternatives to address certain reasonable concerns raised by the NBA,” IPL’s release said. “However, the BCCI-IPL will not and cannot accede to unreasonable demands from news broadcasters and their representatives that would compromise the very integrity of the event.”
A senior executive from MSMPL who did not wish to be identified dismissed NBA’s demands as “ridiculous.” “If I’ve paid a billion dollars to acquire telecast rights to the IPL, why should any other channel get it for free?” he said.
NBA president Sameer Manchanda could not be reached for comment.
However, the editor of a news channel which is part of NBA said news broadcasters are upset with the unilateral announcement made by IPL on revised guidelines a few days ago. He did not wish to be identified as he not authorized to speak to the media.
“The IPL executives did not have an issue with the arrangement when IPL was shifted out of India last year as they needed all the publicity,” he claimed. “News coverage of IPL has a multiplier effect which is beneficial for them as well.”
Several news channels have invested in creating IPL-related programming.