SBD/August 10, 2011/Media

Dispute Between U.K. Media, Leagues Could Disrupt EPL Coverage

Coverage of Community Shield match last weekend was disrupted by dispute

A "deepening dispute between the press and football’s governing bodies in the UK is threatening to disrupt media coverage" of the EPL, which is scheduled to kick off its '11-12 season this weekend, according to Salamander Davoudi of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Talks between the EPL, the Football League and News Media Coalition, a "trade body that represents newspapers and large news agencies, collapsed last week over a failure to agree on what rights reporters and photographers covering Premiership and Football League matches should have." The licensing agreement that "maps out which journalists can attend these matches and how and when they can report has expired." The leagues "have offered a temporary extension, but NMC has rejected the offer, claiming the agreement is too restrictive." A source indicated that newspapers "were not being given the full facts by the coalition." The source added, "The position over Twitter and social media has been totally misrepresented by NMC. Journalists will have greater freedom to tweet et cetera under the proposed new agreement." Davoudi notes newspaper coverage of games last weekend "was disrupted as journalists were shut out of football grounds." Subsequently, a "number of national newspapers scrapped their match reports or left out mentions of sponsors’ names." While some "smaller news agencies are thought to have accreditation for this weekend, larger agencies including Reuters and the Press Association hope to secure a last-minute deal but have already warned publishers that their coverage is likely to be disrupted" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/10).

IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE: MARKETING magazine's Alex Brownsell reported the EPL is planning to debut a U.K.-focused marketing campaign "to celebrate its heritage, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the launch of the league." The EPL is "plotting a series of promotions in the latter part" of the '11-12 season, and rather than "target international fans, in countries such as China and the US, the activity is expected to focus on football supporters" in the U.K. Activitity will be launched "in conjunction with the Premier League’s commercial partners," including title sponsor Barclays, Nike, Yahoo and EA Sports (, 8/9).

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Media, English Premier League, Soccer

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