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Did The Networks Stay On Beat With ABC’s “First Dance” Exclusive?

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ABC Entertainment paid two million dollars to the Presidential Inaugural Committee for the rights to broadcast a Monday night youth concert and last night’s Neighborhood Inauguration Ball. After complaints over the restrictions and an argument of fair use, ABC relented and agreed to allow networks to broadcast President Barack Obama‘s speech live, but nothing else.

So what happened last night?

All three cable channels took some of The Obamas first dance live at 8:35pmET, as well as Obama’s comments on stage at 8:47pmET while ABC was in a commercial break. Just after 9pmET CBS began its broadcast by showing clips of the first dance and Obama’s speech.

A network insider tells TVNewser, “I’m disappointed people break the rules, but not surprised.”

> Update: An insider from another network tells us the $2 million figure is on the low end, and it could be as high as $10 million.

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