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Networks Get out Checkbooks for Interviews with Rescued Chilean Miners

The rescued Chilean miners are beginning to talk to U.S. TV networks, which means the payments in the form of licensing agreements have begun. NBC’s Natalie Morales, who arrived in Chile more than a week ago, got interviews over the weekend with two of the rescued miners, Carlos Barrios and Victor Zamora, 13th and 14th out of the mine.

TVNewser has learned NBC News paid a licensing fee for videos Zamora and Barrios took from inside the capsule as it ascended to the surface. The network also paid for video from Zamora’s 34th birthday party celebrated by his family in his absence. (video after the jump). Morales mentioned the licensing agreement in the on-camera tag of her live report on “Today.”

ABC News paid a licensing fee for video of second rescued miner “Super” Mario Sepulveda — both in the hospital and at his home. Correspondent John Quinones, conducted the interview from New York over the weekend, an hour after Sepulveda was released from the hospital. In his piece, Quinones mentions the network had licensed home video of Sepulveda at his home. ABC News cameras then followed Sepulveda to the beach where he jumped into the ocean — sans clothes — and prayed on the beach with his son.

CBS News correspondent Seth Doane briefly interviewed one of the miners, but CBS News tells us they are not entering into any licensing deals with the miners.

So how much did NBC and ABC pay?

Insiders tell TVNewser NBC News paid a $6,000 licensing fee to Barrios and Zamora while ABC News paid $20,000 to license Sepulveda’s video. Neither network would confirm the amount with TVNewser.

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