Oz publishers to restrict coverage of India Test series due to BCCI's harsh demands

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 14, 2013 05:50 hrs

Australian publishers have been forced to restrict the coverage of their national team's tour of India due to the tough demands made by the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI).

When a similar difference of opinion arose during England's recent visit, English publishers declined to use photographs provided by the BCCI, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Less than a week after ABC Radio confirmed it would have no commentary or reporting presence at the looming India-Australia Test series due to a dispute about the price and terms of broadcasting rights demanded by the BCCI, a key photograph supplier to Australian newspapers and websites, Getty Images, has been denied official approval, the paper reported.

The BCCI's justification for banning Getty Images last year was it considered the photo agency's primary businesses involved the commercial sale and licensing of images rather than the supply of images to news publications for valid editorial purposes.

The BCCI claimed last year in November that it stands by its decision, which is based on the legitimate interest of prioritizing and limiting stadium access to those persons and entities primarily involved in news reporting activities and, thereby, promoting the public interest in consuming news and editorial comment from diverse sources.

BCCI's stance was slammed by Fairfax Media's chief editorial director, Garry Linnell, as a complete rejection of the notion of a free press.

Linnell said the arrogance of the Indian cricket board is breathtaking but the far-reaching implications are simply Orwellian.

Linnell's stance was also repeated by news agency Australian Associated Press, which is likely to prevent newspaper reports from its reporter covering the series being published anywhere outside Australia and New Zealand, the paper said. (ANI)

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