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ICC to sue infringing news channels

April 01, 2011 20:03 IST

The International Cricket Council on Friday decided to begin legal proceedings against offending Indian news channels who have repeatedly breached the News Access Guidelines for Broadcasters for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Despite a lengthy meeting at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in New Delhi, the National Broadcasters Association (NBA) and the Broadcast Editors Association (BEA) refused to give assurances that they would desist from breaching the broadcast guidelines in their news programming.

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Accordingly, the ICC has decided to commence legal action against the companies involved and will also seek to recover damages through the courts in India rather than bar the stations from the ICC Cricket World Cup final.

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC Chief Executive, said: "I am very disappointed that it has come to this, however, we need to do everything to protect our exclusive commercial rights and those of our partners. If that means we have to resort to legal action, that is regrettable but necessary.

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"At the Ministry's request, we travelled to New Delhi to meet with the NBA and BEA in an attempt to resolve the issue but they were unfortunately not willing to conform to the guidelines agreed with the ICC prior to the event.

"To ensure that there is no misunderstanding it is important for me to repeat that the News Access Guidelines for Broadcasting the ICC Cricket World Cup were issued in January 2011 and all news broadcasters were reminded of these Guidelines in a letter from the ICC on 27 January.

"Accreditations were issued to the NRH reporters and cameramen on condition that these guidelines were observed.  Subsequently those guidelines were breached on several occasions, particularly in respect of the blatant commercialization of ICC World Cup footage and proprietary data by certain news broadcasters.

"In the interests of the event, we have agreed to reinstate their accreditation for the final match of this hugely successful World Cup. However, following a number of written warnings to the channels concerned, it is now time for the ICC to act through the courts."