Sean Hewitt wrote:
Paolo Casaschi wrote:It would have been naive to expect every traditional chess broadcaster to comply with the demand
You're right. Traditional chess broadcasters don't want to comply with Agon because they have a business model which lets someone else pay to put on a top class event which they then monetize. Agon want to keep the income generated by the product they have paid to create. In most non-chess scenarios, that wish would not be considered to be unreasonable.
Each scenarios has their own rules and traditions: in football sky and bt pay zillions of pounds for the broadcasting rights but anyone can watch the games on pay-tv and publish a live blog by the minute commenting on the game. The BCC and many newspaper do that without paying a penny for organizing the event.
In chess, traditionally, live games are free for anyone to comment about: you and Agon might not like it, but that's the current practice; everything can be changed, but you might expect someone to prefer to keep the long standing tradition; even more so if you announce the change few days before a major event.
Since you seem to raise the issue from the ethical point of view, let me add an additional remark: I would find odd but somehow acceptable if a private organizer decides to run his own private tournament behind closed doors, allowing only paying people onsite behind closed doors to enjoy the event. In this case however we are talking about an event that Agon runs on behalf of FIDE; FIDE is ultimately "owned" by the national chess federation that in most part of the world should respond to their members. I agree that arguing with Agon in any other place than a court of law is a waste of time; we should argue with FIDE that this should not be allowed to happen: what ultimately do the chess federations (and their members) want? Do we want Agon to make money? Do we want better sponsors for a chess world championship to the detriment of the chess fan enjoyment?
We have seen already in the past where this slippery slope might lead: everyone here remembers how in the name of the "sponsors" (or lack thereof) at some point Shirov was denied the well deserved right to challenge Kasparov in a world championship; Kramnik eventually replaced him, despite having lost the last qualification match against Shirov, ultimately just because Kramnik was more appealing to "sponsors".
Should we then skip the candidates altogether then and appoint Nakamura or Caruana to the world championship final just because "sponsors" would like them much better than anyone else for a match in New York? Agon would love that (especially looking how Nakamura is performing in Moscow).