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TV costs row over D-Day coverage

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - 02:08

June 4 - The mayor of the French town at the centre of international D-Day commemorations has called restrictions placed on global live coverage of the event 'shameful.' As Ciara Sutton reports it's all about money.

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Every year on the beaches of Normandy scenes from the second world war are re-enacted. Enthusiasts from across France and beyond come to remember the Allied invasion which led to the end of the war. (SOUNDBITE) (French) MEMBER OF THE BELGIAN MILITARY VEHICLE TRUST, MR. DAUBRESSE, SAYING: "They parachuted over Normandy next to Ouistreham and Benouville, their mission was to secure the Benouville Bridge and to hold it until the troops that landed on the beaches arrived." It's the 70th anniversary this year of course and the rest of the world is watching too. Only there could be a hefty price to pay for some. French broadcasters are providing much of the coverage of the main events. But not everyone is being given the material free and that's upset many of those involved. Romain Bail is the Mayor of Ouistreham where the main international ceremony is taking place. (SOUNDBITE) (French) ROMAIN BAIL, MAYOR OF OUISTREHAM, SAYING: "It's particularly regrettable, not for me but for our veterans, because it is probably one of the last times we will pay tribute to them, and the entire world is behind this commemoration. I feel it shameful if some television companies - especially Anglo-Saxon ones - weren't able to broadcast the ceremony." After complaints to the government from some news agencies, broadcasts in Europe will now be free. But that still leaves some international companies facing charges of up to 60,000 euros for each main event. War veteran Tony Vaccaro is taking part in some of them. He took this photo at Omaha Beach in June 1944. SOUNDBITE (English) TONY VACCARO, US WWII VETERAN AND PHOTO-JOURNALIST, SAYING: "It should be free. That's a shame. You know, I talked to Mr Hollande. I had lunch with him. If I had known this, I would have given him a lecture. But I didn't know. That's a crime." With 18 heads of state attending, the D-Day celebrations will be shown around the world whoever ends up paying. But the row has left a bitter taste in the mouths on many at a time when the focus should be on those who paid the ultimate price.

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TV costs row over D-Day coverage

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - 02:08