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Entertainment – HBO gets exclusive telecast of Jan 18 Inagural kickoff

Ira Teinowitz

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is tapping HBO to exclusively televise the opening celebration of the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, a Sunday afternoon event at the Lincoln Memorial.

The committee on Tuesday night said HBO will work with cable and satellite distributors to make the airing of its signal for the event free.

The free Sunday Lincoln Memorial event comes two days before the Jan. 20 swearing in of the new president, and is to feature major entertainment. Both President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden are expected to attend.

Brent Colburn, a spokesman for the inaugural committee, said the committee decided to work with HBO because it offered to televise the whole 90-minute event without commercial interruption. HBO did a similar telecast in 1993 for the inaugural of Bill Clinton.

Mr. Colburn said that while HBO will broadcast the full production with multiple cameras, other media will be able to cover the event. The committee has yet to name the talent that will perform.

In a statement, Bill Nelson, chairman-CEO of Home Box Office, said the channel is “honored to be broadcasting an event of this national significance featuring some of the leading talent from the music and entertainment industry. HBO is proud to work with all of our distributors to make this event accessible to as many citizens as possible.”

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January 7, 2009 Posted by | TV Week | Leave a comment