SBD/Issue 46/Sports Media

U.K. Newspapers, Soccer Leagues Reach Compromise On Coverage

Content Agreement Settles
Media Dispute

A threatened media blackout of Premier League and Football League matches in the U.K. “has been averted after national newspapers and football authorities reached a compromise agreement over the use of data and photographs,” according to Owen Gibson of the Manchester GUARDIAN. The dispute “hinged on the extent to which newspaper publishers could use photographs and match information on their own websites and for mobile phone services.” DataCo, the company set up by the two leagues to safeguard their rights, “was concerned that newspapers are profiting from the game through fantasy football competitions, mobile score alerts and downloads.” But the papers “refused to accept a list of demands including provisions that digital publication of match photographs should be subject to a two-hour time delay and that up to 7% of revenues from fantasy football competitions should be returned to clubs.” Newspapers “began to drop the names of sponsors Barclays and Coca-Cola from their coverage,” while some newspapers also chose “photographs that obscured sponsor’s logos” on jerseys (Manchester GUARDIAN, 11/16).

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