Local Media Outlets at Odds with LPGA

Michelle Wie putts at the Field's Open on Friday.
Michelle Wie putts at the Field's Open on Friday.

(KHNL) The LPGA says regulations limiting use of photos and video after a tournament have been in place for years.

KHNL News 8 has refused to comply, but management says it is doing its best to present viewers the information they deserve.

"What is beyond me in this whole thing is the LPGA, like many organizations, is looking for as much notoriety and publicity as it can get," said John Fink, general manager for KHNL and KFVE. "And here they are on what should be a special weekend, trying to restrict media usage beyond the day and the day after, just doesn't make any sense."

Hawaii's Michelle Wie is among the golfers in this week's Field's Open at Koolina.

The regulations state the LPGA exclusively owns all copyrights, and any broadcast, tape, photography, or video taken from any of its events. It also states that news organizations would need permission to use photos or video more than two days old.

"For someone to dictate to us that after 48 hours, we can no longer use this footage without permission, smacks a little bit of censorship number one. And number two, it's just, basically, unfair," said Fink.

A spokesperson for the LPGA says other sports leagues and organizations have similar restrictions. She added that she didn't know of any situation where a news organization would be denied use of footage, whether the story was positive or negative.

"We will find another way to present our viewers with the information and results which they deserve," said Fink. "We just wish we could go out and cover it and have the freedom to cover it as we saw best, that's not the way the rules are set up right now."

The LPGA spokesperson says the regulations are signed by media outlets before every tournament. More than 50 media outlets from across the world are covering the Field's Open.