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Volume 10 No. 23


Australian publishers "are fuming" that they will have to restrict coverage of their national team's tour of India because of "unusually harsh demands from Indian cricket administrators," according to Jesse Hogan of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Less than a week after ABC Radio confirmed it would have no commentary or reporting presence at the India-Australia Test series "due to a dispute about the price and terms of broadcasting rights" demanded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Getty Images, a key photograph supplier to Australian newspapers and websites, "has been denied accreditation." The BCCI's rationale for banning Getty Images last year was it considered the photo agency's ''primary businesses involved the commercial sale and licensing of images rather than the supply of images to news publications for bona fide editorial purposes." Its stance "was ridiculed" by Fairfax Media Chief Editorial Dir Garry Linnell, as ''a complete rejection of the notion of a free press.'' Linnell: ''The arrogance of the Indian cricket board is breathtaking -- but the far-reaching implications are simply Orwellian. Last time I looked, cricket around the globe has been struggling for relevance and legitimacy. If they want to kill the game as a global product … then such short-sighted behaviour will go a long way in achieving such an outcome'' (SMH, 2/14).

JOINING THE BANDWAGON: In Sydney, Lara Sinclair reported News Ltd. and the AAP "will join a protest against publishing images and video" from Australia's cricket tour of India. The lockout was described as arrogant, "Orwellian" and contrary to the notion of a free press by Fairfax, which "appears also to support the ban." However, a spokesperson "would not confirm if Fairfax would join a publishers' protest." The spokesperson said, "We will be making our own decisions." A statement from The Newspaper Works suggested major Australian publishers "would enforce a similar ban" against what it termed "an attack on the news supply network." AAP Editor In Chief Tony Gillies confirmed that the news agency "would not send a photographer to India and would not distribute BCCI images" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/13).

French media group Lagardère has filed a €1.6B ($2.16B) lawsuit against media and telecom company Vivendi, according to Renault & Gonzales of LE FIGARO. The lawsuit stems from a dispute over the two companies' Canal+ France pay-TV venture. After "years of bitter negotiations" where Lagardère tried to sell the 20% share it has in Canal+ France, the group has decided to go to court. The hearing is set for March 21 in the Paris commercial court. Lagardère is asking the court to cancel an agreement that allows Vivendi access to €1.6B in cash generated by Canal+ France (LE FIGARO, 2/12). DOW JONES' Marc Daniel reported Vivendi released a statement claiming Lagardère is looking to destabilize the group. The statement said, "This is an attempt by the Lagardère Group to destabilize Vivendi and force it to buy back the former's stake in Canal+ France." Vivendi also said that it would file a countersuit for "abuse of legal process" (DOW JONES, 2/13). In London, James Boxell noted Vivendi owns 80% of the Canal+ France venture and Lagardère the remaining 20%. Lagardère had wanted to sell its stake through an IPO but has been "stymied by market conditions." It has also discussed selling the stake to Vivendi, though its rival is "already engaged in an attempt to sell some of its other assets to cut debt, and the two sides have been unable to agree on a price" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/13).

Total Nonstop Action Impact Wrestling "has found a new home on German TV and will switch from pay-TV channel Sky to free-to-air TV channel Sport1," according to Manuel Weis of QUOTEN METER. The first episode of the weekly "TNA Impact Wresting" show on Sport1 will air on March 6 at 10pm German time and then every Wednesday. Following the show, Sport1 "will air a best-of-show." Both shows will be replayed on Saturday evenings. In addition to the two TV shows, "will provide wrestling fans with numerous events on its video-on-demand section" (QUOTEN METER, 2/13).

In France, pay-TV channel Canal+'s broadcast of the Champions League round of 16 matchup between Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain and La Liga Valencia was watched by 1.7 million viewers for a 28% share (OZAP, 2/13). ... The Premier League has awarded TV rights in Turkey to Saran Media. The deal includes all 380 matches per season beginning with the '13-14 season and running through '15-16 (Premier League). ... The Asian Golf Industry Federation has partnered with KPMG and its Golf Business Community website. The AGIF represents a variety of leading golf businesses active in the region (AGIF).