Thursday, January 8, 2009

HBO secures rights to Presidential inaugural ceremony

HBO has secured rights to telecast the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony for an undisclosed sum. HBO is claiming that they are working with Cable and Satelite providers to make the service available to the public for free, but this remainst to be seen. It is sad that such public events are up for the grabs to the highest bidder. From what I gather from the Wikipedia, inaugural ceremonies are organized by the Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, which is a public entity, organizing a public event. So why are the rights to telecast this event sold to the highest bidder for an undisclosed sum? Given that the costs for the ceremony has to be recovered, it is reasonable to charge a fee and find sponsers. However, there should not be exclusive deals that has the possibility of restricting the public from being able to witness such historic, public events. Why not charge a standard fee from all broadcasters willing to broadcast the event and do away with exclusive deals which gives the upper hand to a broadcaster that charges subscription fees? Secondly, public events should not have the stigma of any undisclosed sum deals attached to it, all funds should be well accounted for, and should be an open book. I would like to know what others think of this subject.

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