France surrenders: News orgs can broadcast D-Day commemoration after all

AP

French broadcasters France Televisions and TF1 offered “unfettered access” to Friday’s planned D-Day commemorations, allowing Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and ENEX to cover them for free.

The broadcasters had previously demanded about $265,000 from the news organizations.

In a note, the French broadcasters said, “Because of the exceptional character of the event and at the request of the president’s office, the signal will be available for free,” AP reports. Here’s some context, from the same report:

French President Francois Hollande’s office had granted the exclusive rights to those two broadcasters to broadcast the main international ceremony at Ouistreham on the Normandy coast. The networks had initially imposed sports-style syndication fees on the event. In other countries, host broadcasters usually offer free access to TV signals at events of global significance, or levy small technical charges. The sums demanded in France far exceeded such charges.

American news networks are planning coverage, too, but many of them, including NBC News, ABC News and CBS News, are members of the European Broadcasting Union, so they weren’t facing the no-longer-proposed fees.

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