Media outlets are protesting the stringent restrictions placed upon them by the International Rugby Board concerning their coverage of the Rugby World Cup. Two outlets that have announced they are boycotting the event include Yesterday's News Limited and Fairfax Australia. The Australian Associated Press wire service may be joining them soon, after being told that they are not going to be able to show video of the Rugby World Cup to their subscribers. This dispute has been going on for months, with the International Rugby Board restricting those who do not hold rights.
Some of the rules that are being called unfair are the limited video that they are able to show, and the fact that they are not allowed to place advertising with highlights of the competition. These three media companies from Australia have been attempting to reach a deal with the IRB since June, and finally have reportedly reached an impasse. Greg Treadwell, who is a lecturer on Journalism believes that the boycotting presents “significant implications” for online news organizations. With print advertising declining, companies are attempted to build media outlets online and IRB restrictions make this difficult.
Treadwell says that online media companies being told how much rugby footage they can offer their subscribers at a time is unfair under the fair use laws. Whether or not a boycott will accomplish anything remains to be seen, but the next move is definitely the International Rugby Boards. Online media outlets make their money by showing their own ads alongside any of the video and the IRB telling them not to means that they will make no money from the increased traffic that happens during the Rugby World Cup.
Tags: Rugby World Cup
, International Rugby Board
, Greg Treadwell