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Tube Talk: Royal wedding overload
Posted By Jim Hagerty On April 27, 2011 @ 6:00 am In Online Exclusives | 1 Comment
By Paula Hendrickson
How can it be that nearly a week before the royal wedding has even happened, I feel as if it’s already history? It’s probably because the hype started the moment Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement.
Comparisons to Charles and Diana’s fairytale wedding are inevitable, but that was nearly 30 years ago. Back then, there were only a handful of U.S. television networks generating huge ratings for their live coverage, yet the wedding drew an estimated worldwide viewership of 750 million.
William and Kate’s nuptials will air live on hundreds, if not thousands, of channels around the world, and will also stream live online as well as on smartphones, iPads and similar electronic devices. It will be nearly impossible to avoid the hoopla.
Experts predict up to 2 billion people will watch the wedding in real time, but given so many viewing options—in terms of format at well as channels—the major networks’ ratings for this wedding aren’t likely to be as high as they were when Charles wed Diana. That’s one reason for an early onslaught of pre-wedding coverage from networks and cable channels alike, and why you can expect endless post-wedding specials this coming weekend. After all, every channel from ABC and CNN to E! has to justify the costs of sending entire film crews to London for the better part of a week.
The spectacle of a royal wedding is appealing to some and appalling to others. I know a couple people who have already programmed their VCRs or DVRs to record the wedding because they can’t or won’t get up at 4 a.m. to watch it live (they also plan to save time by fast-forwarding through the slow bits). Then, there are people like The Middle’s Frankie Heck, who decide to go all out and watch it live while eating tea and scones. Granted, things didn’t turn out quite the way she’d planned.
I remember getting up early to watch Charles and Diana’s wedding, but my family didn’t have a VCR back then, so I couldn’t record it to watch later. Whether I watch William and Kate’s wedding live, recorded, via post-wedding coverage, or not at all, I probably will bake scones and brew a pot of tea in honor of the occasion.
Harder than watching the wedding live will be trying to avoid wedding footage over the next few days—unless you’re stranded in the wilderness, unconscious, or have lost all of your power, cable, phone and Internet services. Here are a few coping strategies for those of you who want nothing whatsoever to do with the royal wedding:
-Spend the weekend pretending you live in the age of Victoria and Albert’s royal wedding and have never heard of TV, radio, the Internet or 3G.
-Limit your television viewing to things you’ve recorded and haven’t had time to watch.
-Stick to sports channels. (I can’t believe I just said that.)
-Treat yourself to a movie marathon.
-And most importantly, avoid contact with any Anglophile royal watchers you may happen to know.
Where do you fall in the royal wedding spectrum: Will you watch it live? Will you record it? Will you watch the post-wedding specials? Or do you plan to avoid it entirely?
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the April 27-May 3, 2011 issue
Article printed from The Rock River Times: http://rockrivertimes.com
URL to article: http://rockrivertimes.com/2011/04/27/tube-talk-royal-wedding-overload/
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