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Thursday, August 27, 2009

SEC Revises Media Policy... Again

From SEC release...

In consultation with major media associations, the Southeastern Conference has issued its final Media Credential Policy for the 2009-10 season, conference officials announced today. The policy is in effect for all SEC intercollegiate athletic events hosted by its member institutions.

The SEC was assisted in the revision of the policy document in discussions with representatives of the Associated Press Sports Editors, Associated Press Managing Editors, American Society of News Editors and the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

“The SEC has always had a positive relationship with the media,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “When contacted by major media associations, we immediately began constructive dialogue to address their concerns. While there were a few changes we could not meet, there was agreement on many of the issues. We look forward to maintaining communication with the media as we work to balance the issues important to the media and the SEC’s ability to protect its digital rights and trademarks.”

Among the adjustments in the final revision, media agencies have additional flexibility in internet news coverage, uses of photographic images, access to video images for television newscasts and special shows and clarification in the provisions of blogging.

The SEC will retain its exclusive rights for game action video on the internet while at the same time affording media outlets the opportunity to access game highlights through an embedded video player.

The SEC Media Credential Policy, which was initially revised on Aug. 14, will be reviewed annually.


DH: Here are the sections on Internet use and blogging, as those appeared to be the most controvercial. If anyone actually wants to read the whole thing, shoot me an email and I'll be happy to forward it along.

Internet Use—Video and Audio

Upon execution of a separate agreement with terms and conditions governing the use thereof, Bearer will be afforded access to video and audio of broadcast Events for use on Bearer’s official news website(s), at no premium or charge. Otherwise, except as specifically permitted herein (with respect to online, non-archived simulcasts), Bearer shall not post, place, distribute or make available video (or audio from broadcast feeds) of game action of any Event (including any Bearer Generated Video of game action of an Event) on or through the internet or any other new media distribution platform (i.e., any platform other than print media or a form of television not available or viewable over the internet, except for non-archived simulcasts specifically permitted herein) including, without limitation, wireless handsets, podcasts, cell phones or PDAs.

(DH: The most important thing to note here is that the SEC has revised its definition of "event." The rules here essentially apply only to events requiring a credential, and therefore should not prohibit any practice or post-practice interviews.)


Blogging, including periodic updates of scores, statistics or other brief descriptions of the competition throughout the Event, is acceptable provided that the Bearer conforms to the blogging policies separately published by the SEC, as such policies may be revised from time to time. No Bearer may produce or disseminate in any form a “real-time” description or transmission of the Event in any manner that constitutes, or is intended to provide or is promoted or marketed as, a substitute for television or video coverage of such Event. Bearer agrees that the determination of whether a blog is a real-time description or transmission shall be made by the SEC in its reasonable discretion. If the SEC reasonably determines that a Bearer is producing a real-time description of the Event, the SEC reserves the right to pursue all available remedies against the Bearer and to revoke this Credential.

(DH: SEC rules have generally already limited blog updates to no more than three per quarter, which was roughly what I abided by for my "live blogs" last season. The only real problem I have with this current wording is that it is, by its very nature, vague. I can already envision a press-box brawl when a member of some school's sports information department disagrees with a reporter on what they deem ""real-time descriptions" of the action. But, that's the joys of the Internets, I suppose. As Sly Croom would say, it's just a series of tubes, and we're all just trying to avoid clogs.)

One last note... no information was provided as to policies on ticket holder restrictions.

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