Media credentials and access will be granted only to individuals with a legitimate working function at a game, training session or event. The bearer must be on a specific assignment. Credentials are non-transferable. Any unauthorized use of a credential subjects the bearer to ejection from the stadium. Resale or attempted resale is grounds for seizure and cancellation.
The following actions may result in seizure of credential and/or ejection of its wearer from the stadium or training facility:
- Requesting autographs at any time.
- Taking photographs with players/coaches
- Using credential for family or friends of a working media member
- Conduction of unauthorized interviews
- Unprofessional behavior (Cheering in the press box, consumption of alcoholic beverages, failure to abide by posted rules, etc.)
Treatment of Credentialed Media
Postgame Media Access: Players from both teams will be available to media post-game in a mix-zone located outside the team locker rooms or in a location near the field of play. The mix-zone will begin 10 minutes after the conclusion of the match. Locker rooms will not be open to media at any point.
Team PR directors should be present to indicate the beginning and end of media access to players, and ensure media have access to the head coach and players after the match. All players are highly encouraged to be available to media post-game.
All regulations about post-game media access should be clearly communicated to team staff and security to ensure a secure environment.
No individuals other than League or Club representatives shall be allowed in Club locker rooms following a game.
Under no circumstances shall any club and/or its players discriminate in any fashion against an accredited member of the media based upon race, creed, sex or national origin.
Seating Access: Accredited media members will have access to the stadium, professional workrooms and stadium seating, if available. During the match, accredited media will have access to the press box which will be restricted to only those accredited media members.
In addition, each stadium should have a Press Box capable of seating no less than TEN (10) people, with separate areas for working press and electronic broadcasters, and sufficient power outlets for all needs. If possible, all accredited media members should be given a seat in the press box.
All credentialed media shall be seated in media seating areas, consistent with treatment afforded comparable media. In addition, all members of the media are to be afforded equal treatment and access to facilities and personnel, regardless of sex.
When the press box is fully occupied by working media, referee assessors or in-stadium observers shall be provided seating with a desk or table shielded from the weather and a vantage point to view replays (if available) from any telecast. The specific location may be determined by the Home Team but must provide these minimum accommodations.
In order to maintain the integrity of the working press box, seating is specifically reserved for media members. All other individuals (including player agents, VIP’s and administrators) should be seated in overflow booths or assigned stadium seats.
Traveling Media: Members of the working media who travel with a visiting team are not to be treated in a discriminatory manner with regard to seating or any other privilege or facility accorded to the home media. Comparable seating and equipment should apply to home and road media (print and electronic).
Media Access to Practice: Clubs are encouraged to make all practices open to media. If a practice is closed, clubs must grant a 15-minute media access period at the start or end of practice, as well as making the coach and players available for interviews following the conclusion of practice. Clubs are strongly encouraged to ensure that ballwork is at least part of the 15-minute access period. If practices are open to the media, as defined above, they must be open to all media; if practices are closed to the media, they must be closed to all media.
Clubs violating the media access policies on practice days will be subject to fines or other discipline at the discretion of NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush.
Guidelines for Photographers and Camera Operators: All photographers and television camera operators must stay behind the field boards at all times, unless released by the on-site photo marshal. The only exception to the field board rule will be when a staff photographer, a national rights-holder or NWSL has a crew at a game. These entities will be allowed to shoot from the area between the field boards and the touch lines in the area bounded by the top of the 18-yard box and the end line.
Each photographer will be permitted to use one monopod — but no tripods. No seats other than “lawn-type” photographer seats will be permitted.
Stand-alone remote units will not be permitted at any time on or around the goal posts. Units mounted on the top of field boards behind the end line will be permitted at the stadium’s discretion, provided the equipment does not interfere with the clear display of the field board and does not impede the operation of broadcast equipment.
Live television crews located on the baseline or sideline will be limited to two (2) people — a camera operator and a cable-puller — and ENG crews will be limited to one (1) person. In either case, the crew must maintain actual possession of the camera and any other equipment during all game action. Cameramen and cable-pullers from all television crews must remain off the playing field at all times.
Photographer Access to field: Photographers and camera operators shall be permitted in the area between the field boards and the touch lines in the area bounded by the top of the 18-yard box and the end line (a C-shape that extends from the top of the 18, back behind the goal, and to the top of the 18 on the opposite side of the field).
Once situated, no movement between the two halves of the field shall be permitted until halftime. Changes in this policy will be allowed in cases where stadium facilities dictate alterations. No photographers shall be allowed to move from end to end on the bench side of the field.
Photographer Identification: In addition to their regular credential, it is strongly recommended that photographers and camera crews be issued with colored bibs or armbands. This makes them easy to identify, and they would presumably enjoy quick and easy access to their designated areas. This will necessitate a special area in or near the stadium where they can pick up their bibs, on presentation of their accreditation, either the day before the match or on game day, at the time media gates are opened. If they are not to be allowed to keep the bib, then it should be exchanged for a press card to be picked up following the game, or else signed out.
Photography Work Area: A work area should be provided for photographers, near the field where appropriate, with high-speed internet access. The size of the room may vary, but it should be sizeable enough for at least 5 – 10 people to work on desktops/tables. Like the press section of the stands, the photographers’ work room should have sufficient electrical sockets and compatible with the equipment being used for transmission.
Accreditation: Care should be taken when processing credential requests for photographers shooting for commercial agencies. NWSL does not permit the accreditation of photographers shooting specifically for commercial agencies. However, since many agencies offer editorial and commercial sales options (Getty Images, AP, Reuters, etc.) this must be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Non-Rights Holder Video Guidelines
All rights to match footage including all applicable copyrights belong to NWSL and its rights holders who broadcast each specific match. NWSL has one rights holders that will broadcast select matches in 2017: Lifetime. If an organization is interested in recording video footage at a NWSL match for non-news gathering purposes they should contact NWSL Communications.
Game Action: Television broadcasters can use footage of NWSL events obtained either via 1) their own recording or 2) action dubbed from a NWSL rights holder broadcast (Lifetime) with credit only in connection with its regularly scheduled news programming within a week of the game. This footage should not exceed two (2) minutes. Highlights aired as part of a continuous news program should not be longer than one (1) minute per 30-minute segment. Credits: NWSL Media / Lifetime (for the Game of the Week); NWSL Media (for all other games).
Filming – Game Action: For televised events, non-rights holders / ENG cameras may record the first 15 minutes of each half (from 00:00 to 15:00 and 45:00 to 60:00 on the game clock). For non-televised events, non-rights holders / ENG cameras may record the entire game but are still subject to the aforementioned limits. This includes events that are web streamed live online.
Filming – Interviews and Scene Sets: There is no limit to the gathering of footage pre-game, at halftime and post-game. All footage gathered is subject to the usage guidelines indicated in this document.
Filming – In Seating Area: Video cameras looking to shoot in the concourse or seating area must contact home team and NWSL in advance of the event for approval.
Previews or Advances: In advance of a NWSL event, television broadcasters can use two (2) minutes of archival game action to preview an upcoming event. In the local/regional markets, broadcasters should mention the time and location of the game along with their report. Outside of the local markets, broadcasters should mention the time and broadcast information.
Television Broadcasters’ Web Sites: Video produced for air as part of regular programming that is simulcast or archived online must be accompanied by a link to NWSLsoccer.com. Content produced exclusively for the Internet is subject to the guidelines for Online Video.
Game Action: Online organizations (including print publications that post video online) are not permitted to film or use game action video without prior written approval by NWSL Media. Game action includes any footage of the field, teams, etc., following the beginning of the television broadcast window. Only video of off-field activities (i.e. interviews, training sessions) may be recorded.
Non-Game Video: Any video posted online that is recorded as part of media access is limited to the use of eight (8) minutes per day/activity date. Online video may not incorporate integrated advertising and must be accompanied by links to NWSLsoccer.com.
Professional Presentation: Online video is expected to be recorded, edited and presented in a professional manner. Video must be presented/hosted on an organization’s website, and not solely on a site provided by a third-party (i.e. YouTube, Vimio, Facebook, etc.).
Online Video Sites: Organizations who regularly post video to online video sites (i.e. YouTube, Vimio, etc.) may not include advertising with video gathered as a result of media access. Allowing users to embed these videos is not permitted, and the description of any video must include a link to NWSLsoccer.com.