Sports Outside the Beltway

Australian sports groups pushing for news monopoly

This news hardly seems cricket to me.

Australian media group News Ltd. says a push by sports organizations to restrict reporting of their events is an attempt to monopolize coverage, and allowing that by legislation would be an assault on free speech.

Australia’s leading sporting bodies have told a Senate inquiry that the advent of online “news” reporting is affecting their revenue streams and could limit their ability to support grassroots participation.

Put in plain English, the sports bodies(Cricket Australia, the Australian Football League and Tennis Australia) only want internet users to go to their websites for news.

The leagues also want to exert ownership over photographic images. Saying they are the league’s intellectual property and protected by copyright laws.

This isn’t the first time a sports organization in dispute with members of the media over what is and isn’t each other’s property. In 2006, the LPGA tried to claim similar ownership and a media boycott that lasted almost two months was the result. I honestly think these leagues are being nearsighted.

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