India's news channels to boycott IPL | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India's news channels to boycott IPL

Dozens of television news channels across India will boycott the glitzy Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament due to what they said were "arbitrary" media restrictions.

delhi Updated: Feb 17, 2010 16:58 IST

Dozens of television news channels across India will boycott the glitzy Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament due to what they said were "arbitrary" media restrictions.

The guidelines say news channels can carry match footage for only 30 seconds per bulletin, as against four minutes earlier.

While match footage for the first two tournaments in 2008 and 2009 could be telecast with a five-minute delay from the end of the live telecast, it has been expanded to a 30-minute delay.

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA), which has 34 channels as members, said in a statement late Tuesday that IPL authorities and the official broadcaster of the event, Set-Max, refused to alter the terms.

"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 NBA said.

"Inconvenience caused to our viewers by this unreasonable commercial approach is regretted."

The third edition of the cash-rich tournament, featuring eight teams owned by leading Indian businessmen and movie stars, will be played across India from March 12-April 25.

IPL boss Lalit Modi defended the decision to impose strict restrictions on the media.

"News channels never had the rights to broadcast IPL," Modi commented on his Twitter page. "Those are exclusively Set Max."

Major global news agencies, including AFP, boycotted the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008 due to restrictive terms and conditions. But the agencies covered the second edition in South Africa last year.