Game on! As expected, news broadcasters are up in arms against the restrictive guidelines instituted by the Indian Premier League, India’s city based T20 Cricket tournament. Following a meeting with IPL and SETMAX, the News Broadcasters Association has decided that its members will not offer their viewers any coverage related to the IPL or its proposed matches. The reason: the guidelines that the two entities had agreed upon in 2008 are not being honored by the IPL and SetMax. The IPL had announced new restrictive terms for news broadcasters, websites and magazines earlier this month. In response, the Indian Broadcasters Federation (IBF) had suggested that the Information & Broadcasting Ministry should step in.

Only the naive will believe that this is the end of it. Now that both sides have taken a hard positions, and each will now wait for the other to blink first. It’s likely that a compromise will be reached, and as Prem Panicker had earlier pointed out, the guidelines this year may well be just a little more restrictive than the previous year. Each year, we expect the IPL to take a mile, then give an inch. That’s similar to what the government does with the budget. What kind of a compromise do you think will be reached?

I’m surprised that the magazine publishers haven’t taken issue with the guidelines. Nothing yet from the Association of Indian Magazines.

The guidelines for News Broadcasters:

— News Broadcast Limits: News Broadcasters will be allowed up to 30 seconds of fresh footage per regularly scheduled news bulletin subject to a maximum of 120 seconds of fresh footage per Match in a day. The overall limit for use of footage shall be not more than seven (7) minutes for the entire day, i.e., the footage from a single Match, not exceeding 120 seconds aggregate duration, cannot be repeated more than three (3) times during the entire day in regularly scheduled news bulletins. It can’t be used for special programming centered around any match.
News Broadcasters Websites: News Broadcasters are not being allowed to display deferred or archived video footage of the DLF IPL, even as part of news bulletin (or otherwise), on its own website or via its account on a third-party video-upload site such as YouTube, DailyMotion, etc. Remember that the IPL recently signed a deal for providing both live streaming and video footage to YouTube.
— 30 Min Delay From Live Telecast: The use of live footage is not permitted at any time and under any circumstances. There will be a minimum of 30 minutes delay from the live telecast, much higher than last years delay of 5 minutes.
– Archival Footage: use of archival clips may be permitted up to a maximum of two (2) clips of 30 seconds each (i.e., not more than 60 seconds per day) for news coverage till the 2011 IPL season.

Details:

Guidelines for IPL 3 (2010)
Guidelines for IPL 2 (2009)
Guidelines for IPL 1 (2008)

NBA Press Release (PDF)