A showdown between media and sporting bodies has been on the cards for some time regarding increasingly onerous restrictions as conditions for accreditation. Last year it was the International Rugby Board which had a run-in with Agence France-Presse over coverage of the Rugby World Cup.
Earlier this month the Indian Premier League drew much heat for attempting to impose accreditation terms on photographers that required all material shot to be uploaded to IPL's webserver, for their free use forever.
This would have course made it commercially pointless for any freelance or agency to bother to cover the series at all. Much shouting ensued and IPL revised the terms some although they refused to relent over allowing agencies to supply specialist cricket portals.
Today 24 April 'The Australian' reports:
It garnered months of hype in the lead-up but, now it has begun, international news coverage of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament has been sharply curtailed by a decision by the top wire services to shun the event to protest curbs on how they can use their photographs.
On Friday, the day the 44-day, 59-match tournament started, Agence France-Presse told clients it would not "offer any text, photo or graphics coverage of the inaugural Indian Premier League cricket ... due to restrictions imposed on international news agencies on the distribution of photographs".
Reuters, Associated Press and Getty Images are also participating in the blackout. Their stand has been supported by the members of the London-based News Media Coalition, which include News Limited (publisher of The Australian) Fairfax Media, and other media bodies, such as the Editors Guild of India.
The ban has left local newspapers largely bereft of images, which domestic news organisations had expected to source from the international wires.
The News group sent a reporter and a photographer to cover the tournament's opening days, but they returned last night.
We wanted to cover the start of the next revolution in cricket. It was never our intention to cover the whole thing as a sporting tournament," said News group editorial operations director Campbell Reid.
We also very strongly support the decision of the international news agencies. Frankly, if the organisers don't really want to have their event covered by the world's media, then we can assist them in that."