View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

French plan to charge for video feed could deprive veterans of chance to see D-Day commemoration

By William Turvill

News agencies Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Associated Press and ENEX have challenged the “incomprehensible” fees being asked of them to share footage of the 70th anniversary commemorations of D-Day in Normandy.

Public broadcaster France Televisions and private station TF1 have been given exclusive live rights to the 6 June service and are seeking 200,000 euros (more than £160,000) from agencies across the world for the rights to re-transmit the footage live, including on the internet. Agencies have to pay £26,000 each to re-transmit the day’s coverage.

The agencies have said the commemorations, to be attended by 19 heads of state and government, including the Queen and US president Barack Obama, should be free for them to re-transmit.

According to AFP, French president Francois Hollande (pictured, Reuters) initially indicated there would be no fee, but later went back on this, allowing the French broadcasters to charge.

The agencies have argued that D-Day veterans unable to travel to Normandy could be among those deprived of the opportunity to watch the ceremonies.

"The restrictions imposed on the international agencies for the coverage of the D-Day commemorations are incomprehensible," said Philippe Massonnet, AFP's global news director.

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

"The commercialisation of this historic event is shocking."

AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll added: "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.

"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."

AP, AFP and Reuters have lodged a formal protest but have warned their clients that they may be unable to provide the live footage.

According to AFP, the two stations and the French presidency have pointed out that footage of the commemorations will be available across the world.

The presidency said on Friday that "all viewers around the world would have direct access and in totality to all the images of the June 6 ceremonies".

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network