The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the most anticipated and exciting cricket tournaments in the world. As the 2023 season approaches, news and current affairs broadcasters are eagerly preparing for audio visual broadcasting of the tournament. However, they must adhere to strict regulations issued by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to protect the integrity of the rights licensed to the official broadcaster, Star India Private Limited (Star Sports Network).
These regulations have been framed on the basis of well-established fair use principles upheld by the Delhi High Court in 2012.
They apply solely to broadcasters registered under the category of “News and Current Affairs” channels under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's “Uplinking/ Downlinking Guidelines” and prohibit other channels, particularly sports channels or sports news/programs, from using any footage related to the tournament or the matches.
In this blog post, we will discuss the TATA Indian Premier League 2023 regulations for news platforms for audio visual broadcasting in detail.
The regulations permit and promote broad distribution of news relating to the matches comprising the tournament while protecting the integrity of the rights licensed to the official broadcaster by the BCCI. News broadcasters must not be permitted to broadcast, transmit, distribute, or stream any audio-visual or visual-only footage relating to the tournament or the matches, including all in-stadia events, ceremonies, whether pre-match, between innings or post-match, anywhere in the world, other than as explicitly permitted under these regulations.
The guidelines define various terms such as Achievement Footage, Archive Footage, Fresh Footage, News Programmes, Official Broadcaster, Special Programmes, and Sports Segment.
News broadcasters will be allowed to broadcast a maximum of five and a half (5.5) minutes of Fresh Footage in a Day on News Programmes and/or Special Programmes strictly in accordance with the limitations contained in these regulations.
Additionally, an aggregate of no more than two (2) minutes of Fresh Footage may be broadcast per hour of broadcast. There must be a minimum thirty (30) minutes delay from the Live telecast by the official broadcaster before telecast of any Fresh Footage by a news broadcaster.
All Fresh Footage must be broadcast “as is,” without alterations or modifications, and within twenty-four (24) hours of the commencement of the match to which it relates.
Fresh Footage may be used for news reporting only and not for the purpose of analysis or any commercial use or purpose.
Commercialisation of Sports Segments incorporating Fresh Footage in any manner, including by way of sponsorships and insertions of advertisements while reporting on the tournament as part of the News Programme, shall not be permitted and shall be considered a violation of these regulations.
Additionally, no advertising, sting, logo, graphic, or any other commercial (morphing) activity may be carried immediately before, immediately after, or during a clip using Fresh Footage from any match or before, during, or after a Sports Segment.
Use of Fresh Footage in Special Programmes shall not be permitted unless the Fresh Footage is used solely for news reporting purposes and not for analysis or for any commercial use or purpose. Additionally, no advertising, sting, logo, graphic, or any other commercial (morphing) activity may be carried immediately before, immediately after, or during a clip using Fresh Footage from any match or during a Special Programme making use of Fresh Footage.
When news broadcasters use Fresh Footage in their News Programmes or Sports Segments, they are allowed to commercially exploit it during normal advertising breaks.
However, there are certain conditions that must be met.
Firstly, no advertising, sting, logo, graphic, or any other commercial activity can occur immediately before, during, or after the Fresh Footage or Achievement Footage.
Secondly, no association can be created or implied between the Fresh Footage and any third-party brand or product.
Moreover, News Broadcasters cannot include any advertising, sting, logo, graphic, or any other commercial activity immediately before or after any 'player-of-the-day,' 'event-of-the-day,' 'image-of-the-day' or similar features relating to the Matches or the Tournament.
They also cannot make use of Fresh Footage in News Programmes, Sports Segments, or Special Programmes that promote a third-party brand or product by way of side screens, interview backdrops, or logo or product placement activity.
The Fresh Footage must be used "as is" without alterations or modifications, and News Broadcasters cannot use it to make their own compilation or mix it with footage from other television events, sports events, documentaries, interviews out of the context of the Tournament, etc.
Lastly, the Official Broadcaster has obtained exclusive rights from BCCI to produce studio-based wrap-around programs in relation to the Tournament and the Matches.
Under no circumstances shall a News Broadcaster be permitted to use the Fresh Footage from any such programming, including by zooming into the television screens placed in the show on which the Fresh Footage may be exhibited by the Official Broadcaster.
In addition to the requirements mentioned above, News Broadcasters shall mandatorily carry the name of the Tournament, i.e., the ‘TATA Indian Premier League’ or the ‘TATA IPL’ (or such other name or names or in such other manner as may be designated by the BCCI from time to time), and the official logo of the Tournament and the Official Broadcaster in all their broadcast mentions when using Fresh Footage and when using any Archive Footage and/or Achievement Footage as permitted under these Regulations.
Furthermore, Courtesy bugs acknowledging the BCCI, the Tournament, and the Official Broadcaster shall be pasted by the News Broadcaster throughout the use of Match content or footage on-air.
The logos of both, the Tournament and the Official Broadcaster should be seen “as is” or referred to with due prominence.
If either of the logos is covered by the News Broadcaster's logo or overlays, there shall be a source credit or a courtesy line extended at the bottom of the screen displayed in the same font size as the News Broadcaster’s own logo or overlay.
Failure to abide by these conditions will amount to a violation of the copyright in the content (including the Fresh Footage) which may be actionable under applicable law by the BCCI and/or the Official Broadcaster.
Subject to the aforesaid, nothing contained in these Regulations prohibits a News Broadcaster from continuing to undertake live video streaming simulcasts of its news channels only on the channel’s official website provided that the content being streamed on the channel website (i) is the exact replica of the program run on the News Broadcaster’s news channel and (ii) is displayed simultaneously with its television news broadcast and such simulcasting is customarily provided on the official website by the channel for all content that it broadcasts in the ordinary course.
It is clarified that live video streaming or simulcasting of a news broadcast that includes Fresh Footage may be undertaken only on the News Broadcaster’s official website and not on any cricket website or any other website, whether or not owned by the News Broadcaster.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned, News Broadcasters shall not display deferred or archived Fresh Footage or Archive Footage, whether as part of a news bulletin or otherwise, on their own official website or via their account or otherwise on a third-party video-upload site such as YouTube, Dailymotion, etc., or any digital or social networking platform, including, but not limited to, Facebook and Twitter.
Any use beyond as permitted under these Regulations, if not under a prior bilateral agreement between the relevant News Broadcaster and the Official Broadcaster will be treated as a material violation.
Should any News Broadcaster fail to adhere to these Regulations, the BCCI and/or the Official Broadcaster will engage with such News Broadcaster to bring to such News Broadcaster’s attention, the permissible parameters of activity and work with such News Broadcaster to resolve the matter. However, should such activities persist such News Broadcaster will be deemed to have knowingly breached these Regulations.
The BCCI (together with the Official Broadcaster) retains and, to the extent required, is hereby granted by the relevant copyright owner governed by these Regulations by virtue of use of the Fresh Footage hereunder, the rights to monitor and enforce compliance by News Broadcasters, and associated and un-associated third parties with these Regulations (whether by means of anti-infringement actions, legal proceedings, or otherwise) and with the copyright law in force. In all such cases, the relevant News Broadcaster will not undertake any act to obstruct, nullify, or obviate the rights of the BCCI or the Official Broadcaster granted hereunder.
The BCCI and the Official Broadcaster each expressly reserve all of their respective legal rights and remedies against any News Broadcaster that breaches the Regulations, which shall be explicitly in addition to any specified remedies hereunder in relation to certain specific violations of these Regulations.
These Regulations form part of, and are incorporated by reference into, the TATA IPL 2023 Media Accreditation Terms and Conditions applicable to the Tournament (“Media Accreditation Terms”). Without prejudice to all other rights and remedies that may arise, any breach of these Regulations by a News Broadcaster shall be considered to be a breach of the Media Accreditation Terms.
Nothing contained in these Regulations shall limit the rights of the BCCI or the Official Broadcaster to exercise remedies available under law or contract for violations of these Regulations, including for damages, specific relief and through potential immediate revocation, suspension or cancellation of media accreditation where applicable.
IN CONCLUSION- The IPL 2023 regulations for news platforms for audio-visual broadcasting are stringent and are aimed at ensuring that the rights of the BCCI and the Official Broadcaster are protected. News broadcasters need to be mindful of these regulations and ensure that they comply with them to avoid any potential legal action.
These regulations have been put in place to maintain the integrity and exclusivity of the tournament and to ensure that the official broadcaster has the exclusive right to broadcast the matches.
It is important for news broadcasters to understand these regulations thoroughly and adhere to them to ensure that they do not violate any copyright laws or infringe upon the rights of the BCCI and the Official Broadcaster.