Fairfax Joins News Corp In Boycotting Commonwealth Games Over Rights Dispute

Fairfax Joins News Corp In Boycotting Commonwealth Games Over Rights Dispute

Fairfax Media has sided with News Corp Australia in refusing to get its journalists accredited for next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast due to rigid news reporting restrictions.

News Corp decided earlier this week that wasn’t going to accredit its journos for the Commonwealth Games due to “the significant limitations imposed on news reporting, particularly regarding the use of video”.

“News Corp Australia is committed to reporting the news to our monthly audience of more than 16 million across newspapers and magazines, in digital and print. To ensure our readers are informed, we will cover the event, but from outside of the venue,” a company spokesperson told B&T.

It’s understood Channel Seven’s exclusive broadcast rights deal with the Commonwealth Games means other news media companies can’t use any video from the event until after Seven has aired it. 

If Seven decides not to air certain video content, rivals aren’t allowed to use it until the day after, while pre- and post-event press conferences from the games have to be aired with a half-hour delay on other broadcast channels.

News Corp seeks accreditation for sporting events – subject to terms and News Access Rules (NARs) – for journalists and still photographers, which would have been the case for the Commonwealth Games, B&T understands.

However, the publishing giant doesn’t seek accreditation to sporting events for video cameras and operators, as it generates audio-visual content from outside the venues.

So, if News Corp’s journos and still photographers were accredited for the Commonwealth Games, B&T understands the restrictive terms – including the NARs – apply in full.

This includes restrictive terms of what and how it can use video for the purpose of news reporting, even though it would not be creating video within the venue.

Rival publisher Fairfax has since joined News Corp in boycotting the Commonwealth Games over the accreditation rules.

“We will not be signing up for Commonwealth Games 2018 accreditation under the current terms and rules required,” A Fairfax spokesperson told B&T.

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