Friday, February 13, 2009

OPRAH BALKS AT PAYMENT TO 'OCTOMOM': ABC and CBS also 'left the room' when reps asked for $1.2 million for birth video.

Oprah Winfrey's people reportedly shut down negotiations to air exclusive video and pictures of the "Octomom" giving birth to her eight babies when reps for the mother of 14 started soliciting money.

NBC eventually ended up with the exclusive footage of Nadya Suleman, the much-maligned mother who gave birth to a total of 14 children (sextuplets and octuplets) through fertility treatments. The network has already run Ann Curry's interview with Suleman across its various news outlets. But did it pay for the opportunity?

The Peacock is denying a New York Post source who claims it paid close to $1 million for footage and photos of the eight babies being born. But an insider told the paper, "Everything was filmed. The birth, everything. Then [Suleman's people] said negotiations would start at $1.2 million for the video and pictures, which is when producers from Oprah Winfrey, ABC and CBS left the room. NBC stayed."

Page Six's source suspects that NBC made a "donation" through an intermediary. But an NBC rep said, "NBC News does not pay for interviews. We did not pay Nadya Suleman, or anyone who represents her, for our interview. We didn't license a single photo or video from her or anyone who represents her. Not a dime. There is no deal with anyone at NBC Universal or NBC News."

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