News Agencies To Boycott Rugby World Cup

News agencies such as Agence France-Press, Reuters and the AP will reportedly boycott the Rugby World Cup, which begins Friday.

According to Agence France-Press, the disgruntled media agencies will withhold from issuing text, photos or video for 24 hours to protest restrictions imposed by the sport’s governing body, the International Rugby Board.

The IRB has allegedly limited the number of photos that can be transmitted during each match, restricting reporters to 20 per half. At a press conference Wednesday, IRB chairman Mike Miller said, “We think our rules are fair to everyone -- to those who pay for the privilege to buy certain rights, which helps us to reinvest in the game, and to those who get to come along without paying any rights fees.”

The IRB has withdrawn several accreditation requirements, such as requesting that media organizations get permission from the World Cup before selling photographs. In a statement, the IRB said it is “extremely disappointed that a misinformation campaign is being waged against Rugby World Cup 2007.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.