Two French television stations have been given exclusive rights to film the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Associated Press reported Friday, and they want $265,000 from other networks, including the AP and Reuters, to broadcast and livestream the events.
The French host broadcasters, France Televisions and TF1, are demanding that global news providers AP, AFP, Reuters and ENEX pay nearly 200,000 euros ($265,000) collectively for live broadcast and online streaming coverage of the official ceremonies, which feature at least 18 heads of state.
The French networks are providing coverage free to European state broadcasters, who belong to the 100-member European Broadcasting Union consortium.
Philippe Massonnet, global news director of Agence France-Presse, and Kathleen Carroll, senior vice president and executive editor of AP, both protested the decision.
“By granting access to only a few select channels and charging prohibitive sums, millions of viewers around the world will be unable to witness this historic, global event, the solemnity of which will reflect the commitment of an international array of forces 70 years ago,” Carroll said. “We believe the Elysee and its French broadcast partners should allow free and unrestricted access to all newsgathering organizations.”
AP sent out this advisory:
To all AP video clients: We regret to inform you that despite repeated assurances from the Elysee Palace that all news organisations would be granted free and fair access to live coverage of the D-Day commemorations, restrictions have now been placed on international news agencies. As a result, AP and the other global agencies can no longer guarantee comprehensive live coverage of the international ceremony. Requests to cover the event live as an agency pool have been denied. AP, AFP, Thomson Reuters and ENEX believe the Elysee and its French broadcast partners should allow free and unrestricted access to ceremonies of such global importance. We will update you as soon as we have any further information. Best regards, AP Television London