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AP, Others Protest Pay For Play D-Day

D-Day's 70th anniversary events may have reduced coverage by news agencies outside of France.

The Associated Press says it and other news agencies (AFP, Reuters and ENEX) have protested the French president's office decision to grant exclusive rights to the main ceremony (June 6) to two French broadcast networks, which are now trying to charge global news outlets, cable channels and online outlets collectively over a quarter of a million dollars for access to that exclusive coverage.

June 6 marks the 70th anniversary of the Allies successful effort to storm the beaches of France under withering enemy fire, liberate the country from German occupation and turn the tide of World War II.

"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," AP reported Friday.

"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 Kathleen Carroll, senior VP and executive editor of AP, Friday.

The French government had said there would be free access to the broadcast to news agencies outside France, but reversed the decision last week, said AP.