New football accreditation deal will allow 'live' reports

Newspaper publishers and news agencies reached a compromise deal with the football Premier and Championship league authorities at the 11th hour on Friday.

This meant journalists were allowed access to press boxes for the kick-off of the Premier League football season on Saturday.

The dispute centred around journalists' ability to provide live text and picture reports online while games are in progress.

Under the new deal, journalists will be able to provide live updates online - albeit with a delay of a few minutes - throughout games.

The News Media Coalition, which was conducting negotations with the football authorities, said in a statement: "We are delighted to have reached agreement with the leagues and look forward to providing fans with the best possible journalistic coverage of the game: match analysis, superb photography, interaction with top journalists and the real stories behind the play.

"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 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.

"The NMC, an industry body representing national and international publishers and news agencies said it looked forward to working more closely with football leagues and said it expected the agreed operational changes to make a significant improvement to the ability of both its membership and other news organisations to report on the world's most popular sport."

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