In an unprecedented move, the South Carolina Democratic Party has granted MSNBC exclusive rights to broadcast their upcoming state convention and barring cable news outlets Fox News, CNN, and C-SPAN from airing any live footage of the event.
The arrangement was revealed in an email obtained by the Washington Examiner on Tuesday
“IMPORTANT: MSNBC has exclusive rights to broadcast the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Convention. Any footage of the convention taken by other outlets may not be aired live and is EMBARGOED FOR THREE HOURS after the close of the convention. This embargo includes any live-streaming from social media platforms.”
Steve Scully, C-SPAN’s political editor, told The Hill in a statement that the network is “deeply disappointed” by the decision.
“C-SPAN is deeply disappointed that the SCDP agreed to give exclusive live rights to MSNBC,” Scully said.
“We have reluctantly pulled our crew from this event and will not be able to cover it for our viewers,” he continued. “C-SPAN is in as many homes as MSNBC, would have been the only outlet to offer complete, commercial-free coverage of the speeches of 20 Democratic presidential candidates, as well as state and local Democratic officials.”
After the Examiner story broke the SCDP has been criticized for its decision from the media and political observers who see this as setting a dangerous precedent for future debates held by either party but has stood firm.
The DNC has barred Fox News from hosting any of the 2020 candidate debates which has raised the hackles of many liberal journalists.
Both Fox News and CNN filed complaints.