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Media boycott threat of IPL persists

The stringent media restrictions put a question mark over its coverage as the Indian Newspaper Society threatens to boycott the cricket league.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 10, 2008 09:34 PM IST

Indian Premier League's (IPL) stringent media restrictions have put a question mark over the coverage of the event as the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) threatened to boycott the multi-million dollar cricket league, starting April 18.

"The accreditation terms failed to address the issues of intellectual property rights belonging to media as well as issues of press freedom," INS president Bahubali Shah said in a statement on Thursday.

Indian media are protesting IPL's decision to ban websites from covering matches and also prohibiting international and local news agencies from supplying photographs to online clients.

"The Indian Newspaper Society hopes a serious attempt will be made by the IPL to remove offending terms and conditions for media accreditation. In the absence of remedial action by the IPL, members of the INS will be forced to take an adverse view on the question of coverage of IPL matches," Shah added.

The league, promoted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), features top stars from around the world playing for eight different franchises. The deadline for accreditation was Thursday.

The London-based international News Media Coalition (NMC), which was formed by major international agencies to counteract a similar situation during the rugby World Cup in France last year, called the accreditation terms "a serious and unprecedented curtailment of the freedom of the press to fully report events of
public interest."

In a similar move, global news agencies had boycotted the coverage of the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia last year after Cricket Australia imposed similar restrictions. CA had to reach a compromise before the second Test after the first Test faced a total blackout.

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