News broadcasters on Friday ended their boycott of the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after an agreement with the cash-rich Indian league authorities.
"The news broadcasters end boycott of IPL coverage. Let the show begin," editor-in-chief of IBN network Rajdeep Sardesai said on his Twitter account.
The development came hours before the IPL was scheduled to begin with a match between 2009 champions Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders in Navi Mumbai Friday night.
As per the new guidelines issued by the IPL, "there has to be a minimum of a 10-minute delay from the live telecast by the official broadcaster before telecast of any match footage by a news broadcaster."
However, the "news broadcasters will be allowed to telecast an exceptional event (newsworthy event of an exceptional nature) occurring during the course of a match with a minimum of a five-minute delay from the conclusion of the live telecast of such exceptional event".
The 15-point guidelines include a clause that news and current affairs broadcasters will be allowed a maximum of 5.5 minutes of 'fresh footage' per match in a day, "including not more than 4.5 minutes of deferred live coverage of match play and not more than 1.5 minutes of deferred in-stadium entertainment footage".
Earlier, the main bone of contention was a diktat from the IPL authorities that non-rights broadcasters could air the footages only half an hour after a match. The maximum fresh footage that could be used by them was another area of conflict which has also now been resolved.
The news channels are also permitted to use an aggregate of two minutes of footage per half an hour of broadcast "subject to not more than 5.5 minutes of fresh footage per match".
The pact also says a maximum of two repeats of footage initially broadcast by the news broadcaster would be permitted in each hour of broadcast.
"It's good that we have come to an understanding with the news channels. It's a nice way to start the tournament. I find the channels are already full of news concerning IPL," the league's vice chairman Niranjan Shah told IANS.
The news broadcasters had announced a boycott of the IPL, describing some of the guidelines for the third edition "arbitrary".