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BFA to introduce media rights for broadcast coverage of matches

Media moves: Scramble in the Somerset Eagles goalmouth during Sunday’s Premier Division match against Robin Hood. Exciting moments like this at football will come at a cost for outlets planning to provide video coverage of BFA matches. (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

The Bermuda Football Association has identified a new source of income, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact attendance at football matches, with the association planning to introduce media rights requirements for outlets wishing to broadcast local football matches.

This season has seen the introduction of matches being streamed live by various outlets. Now those outlets will have to secure approved media rights agreements, to access football grounds.

The Royal Gazette obtained a copy of the media rights request form, which was sent by the BFA to interested outlets. The document outlined the various categories of rights and entitlements ‒ Broadcast Rights (tier 1), Highlights Media Rights (tier 2), Image Rights (tier 3) and Technical Rights (tier 4).

All will attract a fee and require approval by the governing body. There is no indication of the BFA’s revenue target for this initiative.

“An outlet wishing to acquire broadcast rights to BFA matches must request and be granted rights by the BFA prior to originating or accepting feed of such a broadcast and make payment to the BFA of the appropriate rights fee,” the document read.

“The BFA reserves the right to grant exclusive rights to broadcast for BFA matches. In these cases, there may be additional fees, which must be paid.”

Under the media rights policy, all broadcasts (telecast, cablecast, webcasts) rights must be secured from the BFA, for both live and delayed broadcasts.

“The use of videotape and/or film by an outlet granted broadcast rights for any purpose other than for complete playback of the events(s) for which it was approved, or for use of excerpts for regularly scheduled newscasts, is expressly forbidden. Any other use must be approved in writing by the BFA,” the document outlined.

Interestingly, clubs will be allowed to pass on the arrangements, with the BFA approval of broadcasting of matches at member clubs, applying only to those who have signed the media agreement.

Clubs that sign on the dotted line are required to allow entry to all approved and documented rights holders without charge. However, clubs that reject the media rights proposal, are within their power to deny access to broadcasters at their respective venues.

The document also dictates that holders of Highlight Media Rights entitlements, are only allowed to broadcast videos, three minutes or shorter in duration. Videos are allowed to contain key moments of the match and, according to the BFA’s directive, must not contain accidents or incidents that can result in viewer anxiety.

‘Image Rights’ holders, refer to outlets that have been approved to take photographs at venues, while ‘Technical Rights’ media outlets, will consist of crews filming on behalf of a member club or participant, for analytical purposes.

Rights holders will be prohibited from selling footage.

Attempts to obtain further clarity from the BFA on the Media Rights initiative were not successful yesterday.

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Published January 27, 2022 at 7:52 am (Updated January 27, 2022 at 7:52 am)

BFA to introduce media rights for broadcast coverage of matches

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