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India-Pakistan Semifinal: News Channels allowed to enter the stadium

Information & Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni intervenes to help news channels get temporary access to the match.

Rajat Arora | Delhi | March 30, 2011

ICC has agreed to give a temporary access to the non-rights-holder news channels to cover the World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan. The news channels have got a big relief because more than match, they will be able to cover the cricket diplomacy during the India-Pakistan semi final. Indian Prime Minister and his Pakistani counterpart will be discussing various issues over cricket in Mohali stadium.

On Monday, ICC gave a shocker to electronic media by canceling the accreditation of all non-rights holder news channels for not following ICC guidelines for the broadcast.

The decision was strongly protested by News Broadcasting Association when its representatives met the Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Tuesday morning who later stepped into the matter and wrote a letter to ICC president Sharad Pawar requesting him to allow the electronic media to cover the event.

Soni sought for a 24-hour 'truce' in a dispute created by non-rights holder news channels by breaching the terms and conditions they had agreed to follow when they were awarded accreditation for the World Cup.

The minister will convene a meeting on tomorrow to address the dispute. It is believed that the breaches have been of a commercial nature where there could be elements of ambush marketing involved with the news channels running shows sponsored by companies that are in competition with the ICC sponsors.

In the meanwhile, News Broadcasting Association had also issued a statement protesting the action taken by ICC. The NBA said, “In view of the unreasonable stand taken by the ICC at a crucial juncture of the ICC World Cup 2011 matches, which  almost completely prohibits reporting of news relating to such an important event, and which is also in disregard of the fair dealing dispensation available to broadcasters under the Indian Copyright Law, the NBA Board has decided that its members would stand united and voluntarily desist from accessing match venues or availing any other accreditation benefits like attending press conferences, practice sessions, interviews etc.”

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