Gold Coast organisers’ ‘hands tied’ in coverage dispute

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation is powerless to resolve a dispute about coverage domestic plans for next year’s multi-sport event in Australia, according to chairman Peter Beattie.

Media organisations News Corporation and Fairfax Media have said they will not send journalists to the Games under the current coverage rules imposed by commercial broadcaster Seven, the event’s domestic rights-holder.

The Australian Associated Press news agency has also expressed concerns about coverage restrictions, which include a 30-minute delay for showing content from press conferences and limiting digital news bulletins to a maximum of 60 seconds per day, with no more than three bulletins per day.

“They can only be varied between Seven and News, Fairfax and AAP,” Beattie told the Australian. “Our hands are tied. We're not party to the agreement. I can't change it even if I wanted to. We have to enforce it.”

In a statement released earlier on Monday, the organising body said: “While (the corporation) is not in a position to negotiate further on broadcast rights, we hope that for the benefit of (the Games) all media outlets will seek accreditation and share the once-in-lifetime moments that only an event of this size can bring.”

News Corp has also reportedly informed the Australian Olympic Committee that the company will not cover the 2018 winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.