Mohali, March 30 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given Indian TV channels access to the much-awaited India-Pakistan World Cup semifinal here Wednesday following a request from Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.
Soni proposed a 24-hour “truce” in a dispute created by Indian non-rights holders (NRH) breaching the terms and conditions they had agreed to follow when they were granted accreditation for the World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“Ms. Soni had written to ICC president Sharad Pawar and asked for the television channels be allowed access into the ground at Mohali for this important game,” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.
“At the same time she agreed to convene a meeting at the ministry on March 31 to address the dispute which has been caused by repeated and serious breaches of the terms and conditions which these organisations had signed up to.”
Elaborating on this, Lorgat said: “Firstly, 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 Jan 27.
“No objections to the guidelines were received and accreditations were issued to the NRH reporters and cameramen on condition that these guidelines were followed.
“Sadly, there have been many breaches and despite requests for such activity to cease, the NRH stations continued to break the rules.
“It was only as a last resort that the ICC withdrew the accreditation of these companies when they refused to sign an undertaking that they would desist from breaching the guidelines. It was not something done without very good reason,” Lorgat added.
He said the ICC is committed to protect the rights of its broadcast and commercial partners.
“It is also important to understand that the removal of the accreditation does not prevent these channels from reporting the ICC Cricket World Cup. It only prevents them from entering the stadium. Footage is provided to them from several agencies, including SNTV and Reuters, the ICC’s official news providers,” he said.
“I am grateful for the minister’s intervention in calling a meeting but I must repeat that we are committed to protecting the rights and investments of our broadcast partners as well as the exclusivity of our commercial partners.
“We will not allow that to be compromised and if the relevant members of the News Broadcasters’ Association are not willing to give the necessary undertakings we require, we will have no other option but to withdraw accreditation for the final in Mumbai,” he said.