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IPL unperturbed by news channels' boycott

Last updated on: March 09, 2010 18:04 IST

Lalit ModiThe Indian Premier League on Tuesday conceded that the boycott of the third edition of the Twenty20 tournament by Indian news channels will continue after their new demands with regard to use of footage was turned down by the organisers.

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi blamed the National Broadcasters' Association (NBA) for the current impasse, saying their latest demands cannot be met under any circumstances.

"The status of the NBA is quite strange. We had reached an agreement on a document that they had provided us and we signed it internally and got the governing council to approve it.

"After lengthy discussions with the NBA we agreed that till June of this year we would allow certain amount of flexibility in terms of programming and in terms of use of footage. We also agreed what we had to do but some members of the NBA have come back last night [Monday night] and are asking for more.

"After the approval of the governing council of the new guidelines day before yesterday [Sunday] and after a proposal put forward to us by the NBA jointly negotiated with Sony Television they have now asked us for further changes. That will make it extremely difficult for us to make further changes to the guidelines that they had proposed to us, so we can expect the ban to continue," Modi said in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The stalemate between the two parties is due to the restrictions imposed by the IPL and Sony on the amount of footage that can be used by news channels during the tournament, and neither of seem to be budging at the moment with just a couple of days left for the tournament to begin.

But Modi is happy that with the boycott by news channel the viewer will be forced to watch the IPL on Sony TV, thereby resulting in higher ratings this season.

"I think with the boycott of NBA, of course, the ratings should go higher without any doubt. All in all, it is good, because we expect higher ratings; people who want to tune in have to tune in to Sony, even if for a few seconds. We are not worried, we have no issues. Of course, it would be nice if the news channels came on board but not on the conditions that they have proposed. I have informed them that the conditions will not be accepted by the governing council of revision of their own conditions which they had proposed," he said.

Harish Kotian in Mumbai