Associated Press, other agencies will not cover IPL tournament

The Associated Press will not be covering this year’s IPL cricket tournament in South Africa because organizers have imposed unacceptable conditions on media outlets covering the event.

The AP and major international news organizations Reuters and Agence France-Presse sought to persuade Indian Premier League organizers to change their minds about terms and conditions imposed on media.

The News Media Coalition, an association that represents a worldwide collection of news organizations, has also tried without success to resolve the dispute.

IPL chief executive Lalit Modi refused to amend conditions, including one that bars media groups from supplying news and photos about IPL events to Web sites that specialize in cricket. The IPL has signed an exclusive agreement to supply news and photos about the Twenty20 tournament to one website.

“We can’t allow the sponsor of a newsworthy event to specify where news gets distributed,” said Dave Tomlin, the AP’s associate general counsel.

“This is a case in which a sports association is now in the information business too and is trying to carve out an exclusive segment of the news market as its own to exploit. It’s wrong.”

The world’s major news agencies also declined to cover last year’s inaugural tournament because of similar issues. This year’s tournament has been switched to South Africa because of security concerns in India.

“The IPL is shooting itself in the foot,” said Simon Haydon, the AP’s International Sports Editor. “The tournament is in its infancy and needs media coverage, especially when it is being held far from its home base. The AP wants to cover the tournament and supply subscribers with comprehensive match reports and photos, but has been forced out by the IPL’s inflexible stance.”

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