Networks Refused Prime-Time Slot for President's Obamacare Speech

Image: Networks Refused Prime-Time Slot for President's Obamacare Speech

Friday, 04 Apr 2014 09:26 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The White House asked major TV networks for a prime-time slot for President Barack Obama's Tuesday speech proclaiming Obamacare had reached its 7.1 million enrollment milestone, but network officials rebuffed the request.

Citing three sources familiar with the request, Buzzfeed reports that the broadcasters refused to make any accommodation, leaving Obama to host his address in the Rose Garden during the day while daytime talk shows were airing.

People familiar with the request declined to reveal which networks had been approached, according to Buzzfeed.

The Obama administration rarely asks for prime-time broadcast TV slots outside the traditional State of the Union Address, according to Buzzfeed.

Networks are traditionally reluctant to provide evening air time, but a prime-time address is a unique privilege reserved only for a sitting president to deliver breaking news, as was the case with the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.

The White House had been hoping to use the opportunity to elevate the importance of the achievement in an effort to boost the new healthcare law, Buzzfeed said.

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