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Skydive Superior mid-air collision video: Was it sold for $100,000?

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It didn’t take long for the Superior skydiving crew to turn calamity into cash: The helmet-cam video of Saturday’s collision has been bought by NBC News.A federal investigator on Sunday examines the wreckage of a plane that crashed at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds in Superior,


“We were able to get something taken care of,” Barry Sinex, an instructor for Skydive Superior who was among the 11-member team that survived the mid-air accident, told the News Tribune on Monday.

Sinex declined to reveal the terms of the arrangement.

“I can’t say what we got for that,” he said.

Citing anonymous sources at NBC Universal, the New York Daily News and Washington Post reported that the network purchased the dramatic video taken from multiple helmet cameras for $100,000.

But a source familiar with the deal told the News Tribune that amount was incorrect.

“They’re posting how much the rights are for. That’s not accurate,” the source said, adding: “We wish (it was.)”

The Washington Post reported a similar story, as well as the $100,000 figure, in an article critical of the network for practicing “checkbook journalism.”

“Although some news organizations, such as the National Enquirer and, pay for news, checkbook journalism is considered unethical by the Society of Professional Journalists and other professional news organizations,” the Post story said.

The network called it "standard industry practice," however.

“NBC News is proud to have this remarkable footage of human survival for use across all of our platforms and broadcasts, including an hour-long ‘Dateline’ special,” the Daily News quoted an unnamed network representative saying. “Our licensing of this footage is standard industry practice and is the result of a very competitive process with other major broadcast outlets.”

NBC posted the video on its website yesterday, with teasers to “NBC Nightly News,” the “Today” show and an upcoming “Dateline NBC.”