WC: ICC sticks to its footage guidelines for news channels

MUMBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Indian television news broadcasters continue to be at loggerheads.

The ICC has maintained that the footage guidelines that it issued for news coverage regarding the World Cup are fair, contrary to the common opinion running through news channels.

Reacting to reports that Indian news channels have said that the terms of the footage made available for them are not acceptable, an ICC spokesperson told that there was no reason to concede ground.

"The guidelines we have put in place for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 are fair, reasonable and in line with the industry best practice. They are designed to allow non-rights-holders (NRH) the opportunity to offer quality news-access coverage for their viewers while also protecting the exclusive rights of our broadcast partner," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson noted that in the past, some non-rights-holders (NRH) have flouted the rules and showed almost ball-by-ball coverage of events, in breach of the broadcast partner’s rights.
  "At a very early stage in this process (beginning in October 2010), we and our host broadcaster engaged the views and opinions of the News Broadcasters’ Association (NBA) and involved that organisation at every stage of this process. After lengthy discussions with the NBA, we sent the final version of the guidelines to the NBA to inform them that we were going to publish them on 19 January."

The spokesperson said that the cricket‘s governing body got no response from them. So the ICC extended the publication date and the guidelines were finally issued on 25 January.

"To date we still haven‘t heard back from the NBA. We consider the guidelines to be very reasonable and lenient when it comes to the issue of news access rights. Through its purchase of the rights to televise our events, our broadcast partner, ESPN Star Sports, has poured a large amount of money into cricket while also providing a fantastic televisual experience to a billion viewers in more than 180 territories around the world," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that this investment is used to develop the game in almost every corner of the globe and it is important that their investment is protected. "At the same time we also realise the importance of free news access to NRH and so these guidelines provide a workable balance between those two sides."

Meanwhile, the NBA today expressed confidence that it would be able to amicably sort out the issue relating to the news telecast of ICC Cricket World Cup footage.

NBA president KVL Narayan Rao told that the association had already written to the ICC that it wanted to discuss the issue and he expected that this dialogue would be held soon.

The ICC, however, said that it has not received anything from the NBA.

NBA sources said that the common expectation was that an early resolution would be found "as both needed each other".

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