'We Are One' will be broadcast worldwide

Cashing in on the global interest in President-elect Barack Obama, HBO has acquired international rights to the Jan. 18 inaugural in Washington, D.C.

“We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” will air on HBO Central Europe in Poland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro.

HBO operations in Asia and Latin America will broadcast the inaugural in their respective territories, making HBO the global broadcaster of the first minutes of the Obama presidency.

HBO has also sold the rights to networks in Africa (M-Net), Australia (SBS), France (France Telecom), Israel (Hot), Italy (Sky Italia) and Japan (Wowow) among many others.

In Europe, viewership could be high due to enthusiasm for the new U.S. president and to HBO Central Europe’s decision to unencrypt the signal, making the concert available to HBO subscribers and nonsubscribers alike.

HBO Central Europe has also scheduled repeats of the 110-minute inaugural concert, which starts at 7 p.m. ET and may be playing too late for many Euro viewers.

For Europeans uninterested in politics, the concerts roster of top talent, including Bono, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder, is also expected to attract interest.

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