Live coverage of 70th D-Day events in Normandy under threat

Normandy Offshore Wind Farm Meeting in Arromanches Tonight in EnglishD-Day veterans who cannot make it to Normandy this week for the 70th anniversary of the beach landings could be deprived from watching the ceremonies live on television it is claimed.

A decision by French President Francois Hollande to allow charges to transmit live coverage of the commemorations on Friday means that news agencies may not be able to provide the footage they wanted to.

Global agencies including Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and ENEX have challenged the fees for transmissions that were originally going to be free. They say that charging an ‘incomprehensible’ fee of €200,000 is an insult after Hollande changed his mind.

It means that public broadcaster France Televisions and private station TF1 have been given exclusive live rights to the 06 June services and those wishing to transmit live will have to cough up the fee demanded.

‘The restrictions imposed on the international agencies for the coverage of the D-Day commemorations are incomprehensible. The commercialisation of this historic event is shocking,’ said Philippe Massonnet, AFP’s global news director.

AP, AFP and Reuters have lodged a formal protest but have warned their clients that they may be unable to provide the live footage of the most important ceremonies being attended by 19 heads of state and government, including the Queen and US president Barack Obama.

‘We are dismayed that the Elysee Palace is denying the Associated Press and other international news agencies fair access to live broadcast coverage of D-Day commemorations, which will be attended by world leaders and hundreds of veterans,’ said AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll.

‘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,’ she added.

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About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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