After much uncertainty amid marathon parleys, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to allow television news channels to cover the India-Sri Lanka World Cup final at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium on Saturday.
Since Thursday, there have been intense negotiations between officials of the ICC, TV channels and the information and broadcasting ministry. I&B minister Ambika Soni had been at the forefront of trying to find a way out of the impasse and had been in constant touch with ICC president and her cabinet colleague, Sharad Pawar.
An earlier dispute on the coverage of the semi final Indo-Pak encounter was resolved by Soni's intervention, when she gave an undertaking that the issue would be resolved in a meeting on Thursday.
However, the dispute is by no means over.
A statement by cricket's global governing body said, "Accreditations were issued to the Non-Right-Holder reporters and cameramen on condition that these guidelines were observed. Subsequently those guidelines were breached on several occasions, particularly in respect of the blatant commercialization of ICC World Cup footage and proprietary data by certain news broadcasters."
"In the interests of the event, we have agreed to reinstate their accreditation for the final match of this hugely successful World Cup. However, following a number of written warnings to the channels concerned, it is now time for the ICC to act through the courts."
Haroon Lorgat, ICC chief executive, said in the statement, "I am very disappointed that it has come to this, however, we need to do everything to protect our exclusive commercial rights and those of our partners. If that means we have to resort to legal action, that is regrettable but necessary."
The I&B ministry's involvement came after the Broadcast Editors' Association (BEA) and the National Broadcasters Association (NBA) came knocking on its doors on the matter.
Sports channel ESPN-StarSports has the broadcast rights for the ongoing World Cup