IPL-broadcasters’ tussle ends

Saturday, March 13, 2010, 4:36 by Business Editor

The smokescreen has finally lifted. We will all now be able to watch the IPL matches on television.

With news broadcasters reaching an agreement with the IPL top brass, telecast of the matches in the third edition of the Indian Premier League that were in limbo, will now go on stream. The news broadcasters have been observing a boycott calling the IPL norms on telecast arbitrary.

The timing for striking a deal between the warring parties came about as perfect. The IPL tourney is to get underway in a few hours, with the first match to begin between 2009 champions Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders in Navi Mumbai. The tussle between broadcasters and the League authorities was triggered as a clause in the telecast rights schedule had read that non-rights broadcasters could air the footages only half an hour after a match. Besides, the norm on maximum fresh footage that could be used by them was another area of contention. However, with the agreement now in place, things are back on track.

The new guidelines issued by the League top brass say that there has to be a minimum of a 10-minute delay from the live telecast by the official broadcaster before telecast of any match footage by a news broadcaster. An exception solves the matter further. It has been pointed out that news broadcasters will be allowed to telecast an exceptional event, which means an exceptional occurrence during the matches, with a minimum of a five-minute delay from the conclusion of the live telecast of such exceptional event. The IL has spelt out a 15-point charter too. As per the guidelines, “news and current affairs broadcasters will be allowed a maximum of 5.5 minutes of ‘fresh footage’ per match in a day, including not more than 4.5 minutes of deferred live coverage of match play and not more than 1.5 minutes of deferred in-stadium entertainment footage”. News channels also can use a total of two minutes of footage per half an hour of broadcast, provided that it is not more than 5.5 minutes of fresh footage per match.

An agreement has reached accordingly. Yet another allowance the news broadcasters get is the provision to a maximum of two repeats of footage initially broadcast by the news broadcaster. This would be permitted in each hour of broadcast.

With the hurdles now removed, broadcast of the matches though with a few minutes of delay is fir sure. The cricket enthusiasts are now back in front of their television sets.

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