With the kickoff to the 2009 college football season a little more than a week away, The Associated Press and Gannett Company, the nation’s largest newspaper chain and owner of The Daily Advertiser, The Alexandria Town Talk and The Shreveport Times, are putting their collective muscle behind a standoff with the Southeastern Conference, the nation's premier college football league. Reuters reports that Gannett and AP are both refusing to sign a new agreement with the SEC, which puts tight restrictions on online media content, and which the SEC is requiring for media outlets to win credentials to cover its games.
The new restrictions, which include a ban on online photo galleries and live blogging of games, are a result of the SEC recently signing a deal with XOS Digital to be its exclusive online content provider. The new rules have been widely opposed by media outlets, including SEC-member LSU's hometown paper, The Advocate. Both Advocate Sports Editor Clifford Muir and Advertiser Sports Editor Bob Heist did not respond to emails this morning about the issue.