News agencies to boycott IPL over photo restrictions

(Reuters) – A number of news agencies have decided against covering cricket’s Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition in India and the United Arab Emirates, due to the exclusion of some photo agencies from covering matches.

Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Press and Associated Press will send no reporters or photographers to the tournament, which begins today, as a protest against the IPL’s limit on editorial freedom.

The photo agencies, including Getty Images and Action Images, supply publishers of editorial newspapers and websites around the world with images from sporting events in numerous countries without problems, but have been excluded from covering the seventh edition of the IPL following a disagreement regarding the commercialisation of images.

“The IPL policy is counter-productive and will lead to cricket fans being denied the varied and independent coverage they would expect from such reputable news sources,” the News Media Coalition, which fights against controls placed on news gathering and distribution by the organisers of major sporting events, said in a statement.

“Between them, news agencies reach hundreds of thousands of publishing entities which are seen by millions of readers. That’s the value of getting the news media on-side – to the benefit of team franchises, players and sponsors.

“International news and photo agencies were able to cover the first IPL tournaments including the one in South Africa and we do not believe there should be an obstacle for the IPL 7 or other Indian cricket events.”

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