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Television Pays $5 Million for Broadcast Rights

This just in from the Associated Press (look for much more about this in tomorrow's Post):

Television networks paid more than $5 million for exclusive rights to show events surrounding President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, including Sunday's Lincoln Memorial concert and the Neighborhood Ball where Beyonce will serenade the new first couple.
Nearly half the money, $2.5 million, will be paid by HBO. The cable network is showing Sunday's concert — featuring U2, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and others — live and will repeat it that night.
Obama's inaugural committee said the Walt Disney Co. is paying $2 million to show the Neighborhood Ball on ABC and for a kids' concert Monday on The Disney Channel. MTV is paying $650,000 for a Youth Ball that will be shown worldwide.
The committee said it made the deals to ensure as many people as possible could enjoy the events for free.

By David A Nakamura  |  January 16, 2009; 6:26 PM ET  | Category:  Entertainment , Presidential Inaugural Committee
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I'm disappointed in the inaugural committee...the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial is supposed to be for the people, yet they've sold it out to the highest bidder. If you don't have cable and if you can't afford the extra premium for HBO you cannot see the concert. What a crock!

Posted by: retiredlady2 | January 16, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

It will be free if u have cable "and will make it available for free not only to HBO subscribers but also to everyone with a cable or satellite connection" as well they will post it on their website for those who have rabbit ears.

Yet I will stroll on over myself. Will be a fantastic day ... now if it could just be a little warmer.

Posted by: RafaDC | January 16, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

It's actually better in hbo because there aren't any commercial ads.

Posted by: paulyz1 | January 18, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

and it's free if you don't have cable, i don't have hbo i'm watching now.

Posted by: paulyz1 | January 18, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

While the concert was in progress in DC, I received two phone calls from relatives in the Netherlands telling me how beautiful the concert was and asking me how I enjoyed it. I had to tell them that I could not get the show because it had been sold to a closed network. Unbelievable. All the more disappointing since the Obama message was to open up Washington and be more transparent. A bad start in my opinion. I do not subscribe to HBO because it airs a lot of immoral programs.

Posted by: delfia31 | January 21, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

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