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ICC to take legal action against infringing news channels, will allow WC coverage of Final

MUMBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to allow the news channels to cover the final of the cricket World Cup on 2 April.

However, the game's governing body has also decided to take legal action against the channels who are not adhering to the guidelines.

The ICC said Friday that it "will 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”.

ICC said that despite lengthy meeting at the Information and Broadcasting Ministry 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.

And thus, it (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.”

ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat 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.”

Earlier, I&B Minister Ambika Soni had intervened and written to ICC president Sharad Pawar to take some action. Lorgat said that at the Ministry's request, ICC officials travelled to New Delhi to meet with the NBA and BEA in an attempt to resolve the issue. “But they (NBA and BEA) were unfortunately not willing to conform to the guidelines agreed with the ICC prior to the event,” Lorgat said.

He added that accreditations were issued to the NRH reporters and cameramen on condition that guidelines were observed. Subsequently those guidelines were breached on several occasions, particularly in respect of the blatant commercialisation 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," Lorgat added.
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