January 17, 2009

Exclusive TV rights for inauguration sold

The exclusive TV rights for events taking place in conjunction with the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama have been sold, an official says.

Presidential Inaugural Committee representative Linda Douglass said TV networks paid more than $5 million for the rights to carry the inaugural events, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The cable channel HBO paid $2.5 million for the rights to an inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial Sunday. Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden are expected to attend.

The committee received $2 million from Walt Disney Co. so the company could carry a children's inauguration concert taking place Monday on the Disney Channel.

The Walt Disney deal also allows the company's ABC network to air the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball Tuesday.

The Post said MTV paid $650,000 for the exclusive TV rights to the inauguration's so-called Youth Ball scheduled for Tuesday, the same day as the official inauguration.

We searched around to find broadcasters to reach as many people as possible, Douglass said. Our goal is to be as open and as accessible as possible.