News Media Coalition (NMC), comprising some international and domestic news
agencies, today criticised the decision of the BCCI "to block attendance by
reputable photographic agencies" during England team's cricket tour of India and
asked the Board to withdraw it.
The NMC said that reporting on the Test series, which begins in Ahmedabad on
November 15, "has been jeopardised" as a result of the move by the Board of
Cricket Control for India "to disrupt" coverage of the cricket tour.
"If the policy is put on place for the first match on Thursday in Ahmedabad,
cricket fans will see far fewer images taken by specialist press photographers
in their newspapers, websites, on mobile news services and tablets," the NMC
said in a press release.
"The NMC, an international organisation which defends the ability of the press
to inform the public with independent news material, has urged the BCCI to
withdraw the policy which will hit media coverage, fans and the sponsors
involved with teams. Getty Images and Action Images and Indian photographic
agencies have been barred by the BCCI for this latest cricket series," it said.
It said other international news organisations, which have been given access to
games, were so concerned at the sudden move by the BCCI that they too were
considering whether to cover the matches or not.
Andrew Moger, Executive Director of the NMC, said, "In our view, the BCCI's move
will hit fans and cricket sponsors alike. The BCCI has offered to make its own
photographs available but this is no substitute for independent and objective
"Despite numerous opportunities, the BCCI has yet to explain why it is
discriminating against photographic agencies or indeed whether other news
sectors will be targetted next. We deplore this move and insult to organisations
which have supported cricket worldwide," Moger added.
The Associated Press warned it "may be forced to suspend text and
photo coverage of England's cricket tour of India because of the new
"We are surprised at these terms for photo agencies and remain hopeful that they
will be lifted," said Lou Ferrara, AP's managing editor for sports.
"AP wants to provide cricket coverage to the world and it is only in the best
interest of the organizers to allow that to happen for all news outlets,
especially in this rapidly changing media landscape."
Agence France-Presse stated it "strongly believes the right of the media
to cover news events without undue restrictions should be protected", adding it
hopes "the BCCI will lift its policy so news media and fans can continue to get
Thomson Reuters said that it "wishes to advise clients that owing to a dispute
over accreditation between the media and the BCCI we are unable to confirm
coverage of the England Cricket team’s matches in India".
NMC members include Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, the
international photo agency Getty Images, the Press Association, the numerous
British titles via the Newspaper Publishers Association, the European Newspaper
Publishers' Association (ENPA), the European Publishers Council (EPC), the World
Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA), among others.