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Many Local Stations Aired Obama's Speech, Anyway

Reports on social media showed that Obama's speech aired live on all or most local television stations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Raleigh, Washington, and other cities.
Many Local Stations Aired Obama's Speech, Anyway

Some stations obviously thought their viewers would be interested:

Many local television stations across the country carried President Obama's primetime immigration address live Thursday even as major networks said they would stick with regular programming.

Reports on social media showed that Obama's speech aired live on all or most local television stations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Raleigh and Washington, among other cities.

Major networks including ABC, CBS and FOX confirmed that Obama's speech would not be aired on their networks, while cable news and Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo would.

A network source told The Hill that the White House did not officially request the prime-time coverage, which falls during the monthlong sweeps period where networks vie for viewers and better ratings.

A White House official downplayed the fact the networks wouldn't air the speech, telling The Hill that the White House was "confident" the address would get "ample attention" from the media.

Appearing on CNN within hours of Obama's 8 p.m. address, senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer suggested that White House officials intentionally scheduled the address because it would not be carried by major networks but covered on other, more popular platforms.

"We picked the time and place of this address knowing that it was unlikely the networks would break away from the dramas and comedies they were showing in sweeps week," Pfeiffer said, adding that they expected most to watch the address on "their laptops, their smartphones and their tablets."

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