A cricket field doesn’t seem like an obvious venue for freedom of the press initiatives. Nor does a locker room, unless you’re the Toronto Star. Like the rest of Canada’s newspapers, it’s part of the boycott instituted by the Associated Press against Cricket Australia. According to the Star, the sports league wanted rights to deny photos to certain papers and to restrict the use of media on newspaper websites.
Sports leagues playing unfairly is not news to the Review, which featured an article last summer about newspaper reporters banned from touting cameras into the Toronto Maple Leafs’ locker room—where broadcasters with precious rights to the team were still welcome. At issue here is restricted access at the hands of private corporations, which, like overbearing stage mothers, want to profit exclusively from the talent. Scores and stats are the type of real-time updates that the internet could turn into public property, and Cricket Australia is protective.
In an ideal agreement, the press provides publicity for the team, and the newspaper gets its sports coverage. Even with a rudimentary knowledge of sports metaphors, it’s apparent this is a no-win situation.