The money making machine that IPL has become within two seasons has generated a controversy in the third season between Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) and the broadcasters.
BCCI has decided that the news feed that would be available to the news broadcasters be regulated. The News Broadcasters Association has opposed it, which is a body representing 34 news channels. A state of impasse has set in, and only eight days are left to resolve it, or else the broadcasters have decided that they would boycott the IPL 3.
The point of conflict is on account of the commandments issued by BCCI pertaining to the amount of fresh footage usable from matches per bulletin/per day, total fresh footage that would be available in a day, number of repeat fresh footage in a day, the manner in which the footage be used i.e. it is used as a news item or as a feature item, delay in the usage of footage between the match and as it is broadcast on news channels and how to deal when the guidelines are avoided.
It would be instructive to put the things in perspective. All over the world, for major sporting events the news broadcasters are provided live footage. The idea seems to be to evince interest in the news watchers to turn to the matches if it is building up to an exciting climax. It also helps in keeping the watchers updated about the progress. If there is a delayed broadcast of feed on the news channels then the channels cannot inform about any latest turn in the match. All the news channels have invested heavily in a panel of experts and their deployment could become redundant if they are not able to view live matches and comment about it immediately.
It is economics that seems to be running the roost. The organizers, especially those who have got telecast rights hold the view that as they have spent billion of dollars to earn telecast rights, why should they offer it to the news broadcasters for free. But the same is done in case of other sporting events as well, and therefore the stand that is being taken does not seem to be in sync with the current practices.
The impasse needs to be broken as there are fans that get updated about matches primarily through news feeds, and if they are denied the same a large chunk of fans could be lost.
By: Suman Rai