News outlets make online football coverage deal

The United Kingdom’s Premier League and Championship football governing bodies have made a deal with news organisations, enabling them to give live updates during matches, reported today.

The previous deal, made for the 2003-04 season, restricted newsmedia outlets to giving updates only at certain times during a game and did not give any provisions for Twitter, which had not yet been created. Under the new deal, newsmedia outlets may report with a time delay of a few minutes, and journalists can update coverage throughout a game, including using social media. The practice of charging media outlets for “end user licenses” to publish content from news and photo agencies has also been ended.

Representing media in the deal is the News Media Coalition, made up of agencies such as newspaper publishers, including News International, as well as Reuters, Getty, Agence France-Presse and others.

“Friday’s agreement will put news-gatherers back in the press boxes at football grounds following a week in which a dispute with the football authorities over accreditation terms and conditions saw the media unable to attend matches,” the News Media Coalition said in a statement, according to Press Gazette. “The previous agreement, signed in in 2004, was perceived as placing unreasonably restrictive constraints on how news organisations could use and distribute their copyright football content at home and abroad.”

Social media has completely changed the digital landscape since 2004, and has become integral to how news is disseminated.

The old agreement was not “fit for purpose in the digital age,” the Guardian’s Mark Sweney wrote. Even though news organisations must still delay coverage for several minutes online, the amount of time it takes to upload new information means that the new agreement is workable, he reported.

Image: jbelluch’s flickr photostream

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