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IPL League facing media blackout

The inaugural Indian Premier League is facing a media blackout after international media companies failed to agree terms with the league over website accreditation and image distribution.

Concerns are arising over the IPL's digital media contract which currently prevents websites from covering the Twenty20 competition, while images will also not be available for distribution to online media.

The Indian Newspaper Society (INS), along with leading news associations, has threatened to boycott the competition entirely if the terms of the current contract are not changed.

INS president Bahubali Shah said in a statement: "The accreditation terms failed to address the issues of intellectual property rights belonging to media as well as issues of press freedom."

The IPL is in its first year of competition and is due to start on April 18th. Leading figures in the game have been bought by eight franchises, at considerable expense, to play in the six-week competition.

It was thought that the media interest in the matches would help generate enough income to cover the costs of the players' wages current India Test captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni topped the bidding at $1.5 million (770,095) at the player auction last month.

The leaders of the newly created franchises are now concerned that they will not get the coverage and exposure they expected if the media goes through with its threatened boycott.

Charu Sharma, the chief executive of the Bangalore Royal Challengers, told Cricinfo: "Generally, we believe that nobody can go forward on an event of this magnitude without getting the media on board and addressing all their concerns."

The franchises will hope the IPL can reach an agreement with the media before the competition starts on Friday with the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Bangalore Royal Challengers.

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