Television

News channels heading for showdown with ICC on news access guidelines

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NEW DELHI: Although the News Broadcasters Association is expected to take a final stand on the issue of telecast of news clips of the ICC Cricket World Cup, most news channel heads said the news access guidelines were unfair since 5.5 minutes of fresh footage per day was too short for an event of this nature.

Although none of the channel heads wanted to be named as they said this could compromise the stand of the NBA, it is learnt that the Association may meet as early as tomorrow to take a decision on the issue.

One Hindi news channel head said some kind of compromise would have to be worked out, adding that perhaps permitting up to three minutes of fresh footage every two hours would be fairer.

Another Hindi news channel head said the present guidelines were very unfair and viewer demand would force the channels to telecast news of longer duration and thus force them to pay penalty to the International Cricket Council.

The head of a group with multi-lingual news channels said this appeared to becoming a habit year after year either with the World Cup or with the Indian Premier League, that news channels were forced to fight for footage that they could show to their viewers.

He said that while there were complaints by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as well as viewers that news channels were repetitive, it was unfortunate that no one chipped in to help the news channels in situations such as these.

Indiantelevision.com was the first to report the ICC‘s guidelines to news channels on coverage of the cricket World Cup.

      

According to an estimate, the penalty may go up to over Rs 200 million if the news channels numbering around 50 fail to follow the Access Guidelines of the 43-day ICC World Cup.

IDI, the commercial arm of International Cricket Council (ICC), will charge $1,800 (Rs 83,000) for every extra minute a news channel airs its coverage of the World Cup over the permitted time-frame. ICC will charge $800 for up to 60 seconds of overuse for fresh footage, while the rates for an overuse of archival footage of the previous World Cups are $1,000 for up to 60 seconds.

The recently issued ICC‘s media advisory stipulates only 5.5 minutes of fresh footage and six minutes of archival footage to be used by a news channel each day of the Cup.

In comparison, the IPL has permitted seven minutes of footage by a news channel in a day.

Interestingly, the ICC Guidelines will only be applicable to around 50 news channels which are members of the NBA, although there are around 240 news channels beaming in the country.

A similar situation had arisen at the time of the IPL last year, with news channels threatening to boycott the games. However, a solution was found almost on the eve of the series.

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