Trump Inauguration: How Networks in U.K., Russia, Mexico and Beyond Will (or Won't) Cover It

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Donald Trump

Canadian networks promise blanket coverage of the day's events in Washington, D.C.

With Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., on Friday, expect media coverage in the country to be dominated by the event all day. 

Big European TV networks, from Britain's BBC to Germany's public broadcasters, also once again have set up their news teams for coverage from the nation's capital, while channels in other countries don't have a tradition of covering new U.S. presidents' oaths live.

Here is THR's look at how TV networks in some big foreign markets plan to cover the inauguration. 

British public broadcaster BBC will cover Inauguration Day live across TV, radio and online Friday.

Anchored by Katty Kay from Capitol Hill, flagship TV channel BBC One will from follow the official proceedings 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with BBC News Channel covering events from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. London time, including the swearing in ceremony, the inaugural address, as well as the presidential parade to the White House.

"In addition to covering events in America, the BBC will also be gauging reaction from around the world to a day which marks the transfer of presidential power from one administration to the next and analyzing the significance of this transition to the wider international community," it said.

On radio, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and World Service Radio will broadcast live. Plus, there will be live updates on BBC News online from 11 a.m. and throughout the day, with analysis from BBC reporters in Washington and around the world. There also will be a live stream of the ceremony, including the new president’s speech, analysis of it from the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher and an annotated video of the speech.

The BBC will also be live tweeting, hosting Facebook live sessions and producing live stories for Instagram and SnapChat on the inauguration and the crowds.

After the inauguration, BBC News will continue to report on the key developments, with 100 Days starting on BBC News Channel and BBC Four on Monday through April at 7 p.m. London time Monday-Thursday to cover Trump's first 100 days in office.

ITV, meanwhile, will air a special live program from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. London time, hosted from Washington by Tom Bradby, followed by Mary Nightingale anchoring the ITV Evening News live from there at 6:30 p.m. Bradby then will go live again for ITV News at Ten.

The two-hour inauguration live special will include analysis from Washington correspondent Robert Moore, while correspondents Martin Geissler and Juliet Bremner "will be talking to the new president’s supporters and critics." ITV also promises that "expert guests will discuss the significance and vision of Mr. Trump’s inaugural address."

U.K. networks' coverage of the U.S. presidential election drew stronger ratings than four years ago. BBC One's coverage until 2 a.m. London time on Election Night averaged 1.1 million viewers and peaked with 1.6 million. The network's coverage of the 2012 race, which started a bit later, had averaged 660,000 viewers, peaking with 879,000.

ITV, meanwhile, aired an election special that averaged 530,000 viewers and peaked with 1.2 million. That also exceeded its 2012 coverage, which had averaged 197,000 viewers and peaked with 368,000.

Ahead of the inauguration, news reports have focused on how Russian president Vladimir Putin and U.S. President-elect Trump will get along, and Russian politicians and media outlets have been denying that Russians hacked the U.S. presidential election.

But don’t expect to see any live coverage of Trump’s inauguration on Russian TV networks. None of them – whether bigger or smaller – are scheduled to air the inauguration either live or in a taped version. Traditionally, inaugurations of foreign leaders are not aired live on Russian television, even though there was some talk this could change this year given the hopes many in Russia have for improving relations between the two countries under Trump. Still, there will be news reports about the events in Washington on regular news shows, where Trump's inauguration is likely to be a prominent item.

Russians interested in U.S. politics will otherwise have to rely on foreign cable networks, such as CNN, for live inauguration coverage.

French politicos will not get a wide choice of coverage of the ceremony, with the major broadcast networks sticking to their regularly scheduled programming.

TF1 will be showing game show Money Drop and soap opera Our Dear Neighbors, for example, while France 2 will be broadcasting a four-episode block of local police drama Cherif.

It's a notable contrast to 2008, when both networks broadcast the inauguration of Barack Obama in full from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Only news channels will be covering the event, with the public parliamentary channel LCP airing coverage from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and France 24 planning a special from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Paris time to show the ceremony in full with news and analysis.

TF1-owned LCI will be airing non-stop coverage and analysis from 2 p.m. to midnight, but competitors BFM and CanalPlus-owned iTele are skipping it.


In the lead-up to the inauguration, German public broadcasters have been programming a series of documentaries and investigative reports looking into the Trump presidency and some of the issues it raises.

ARD will air an in-depth portrait of the president-elect just ahead of his swearing in, and all-news channel Phoenix has documentaries on Trump's promise to build a wall across the Mexican border.

ARD's inauguration live special will run from 5:15 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. Berlin time under the moniker Donald Trump - America's New President.

Meanwhile, ZDF will air a special at 7:25 p.m. local time, following the oath of office, which is set for noon ET, or 6 p.m. Berlin time. It promises news and analysis, including reactions from correspondents in Moscow, Brussels and Beijing, as well as an interview with Peter Rough from the Hudson Institute in Washington.

ZDF's 10:45 p.m. news program also will come live from Washington with more analysis from the network's chief correspondent in DC and Robert Kimmit, the former U.S. ambassador in Berlin und former deputy treasury secretary under George W. Bush.

Canadian journalists on Friday will start getting used to saying President Trump. The country's TV networks promise blanket coverage of the inauguration across media platforms, including the swearing-in on Capitol Hill and the big speech, as well as the inaugural parade, luncheon and balls to follow.

Canadian journalists likely will report from the Canadian Embassy, conveniently situated on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol, where a tailgate party is planned to serve Canadian beef and salmon to invited guests.

CTV News' live coverage will start at 10 a.m. ET, with chief news anchor Lisa LaFlamme on hand in Washington.

CBC News' anchor and chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge also will be on the ground to lead his network's live coverage. BNN, Canada's cable business channel, meanwhile, plans live coverage that will focus on the economic and political implications of the Trump presidency for Canada.

Away from the TV screens, digital platforms also will allow Canadians to watch, listen, comment on, and react to events from Washington.

Mexicans can tune in to live transmissions of the inauguration on CNN, Fox News, the Azteca Noticias news channel and Televisa's Foro TV.

Plus, Televisa anchor Denise Maerker will host a special evening news program on Inauguration Day from Washington.

Trump's every move is being watched closely in Mexico after some of his recent tweets sent the peso plunging, such as the announcement that car giant Ford will scrap plans to build a Mexican factory and instead create U.S. jobs.

Trump also has irked Mexicans for his remarks about immigrants and his controversial border wall proposal. 

Scott Roxborough in Cologne, Rhonda Richford in Paris, Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow, John Hecht in Mexico City and Etan Vlessing in Toronto contributed to this report.