English football leagues strike deal with media

LONDON (AP) - Newspapers and news agencies reached a deal with English football leagues over game coverage, ensuring there will be reports Saturday from the opening day of the Premier League season.

An announcement was made early Saturday that an agreement had been reached and journalists would be accredited to attend and cover games.

“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,” read a statement issued by the News Media Coalition.

The deal changes terms of coverage and accreditation that had existed since 2004 between the news organizations _ including The Associated Press _ and the Premier League and Football League.

The News Media Coalition statement said the previous agreement placed “unreasonably restrictive constraints on how news organisations could use and distribute their copyright football content.”

It said the new deal should “make a significant improvement” to coverage of the sport.

The leagues had been in negotiations with newspapers and news agencies for several months.

At stake was whether the leagues had a right to control how and when news can be published online, and how news can be distributed to fans in Britain and overseas.

The Premier League and the Football League had said it was trying to maintain an “appropriate level of protection for their intellectual property.”

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