Cable Shows To Ring Bells For Royal Wedding


Cable subscribers will be hard pressed to escape widespread royal wedding coverage leading up to Friday’s nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

From documentaries about the British royal family to wall-to-wall live wedding coverage to post-wedding roundup specials, networks like Fox News, CNN, TLC, TV Guide Channel, Wedding Central,  BBC America and GSN will shower cable subscribers with coverage of the much anticipated event.

Despite NBC News’ reported decision to scale back its royal wedding coverage because of the “boring” nature of the bride and groom, cable network executives believe American audiences are enthralled about William and Kate’s royal wedding and will tune into the multitude of scheduled programming surrounding the nuptials.

“As a clear leader in the wedding genre, we knew that for our audience it was a day so big it deserved a full week,” said Amy Winter, General Manager of TLC, which is offering nearly 90 hours of royal wedding-related programming this week.  “This is the Super Bowl of weddings -only far more rare.  As Americans we are fascinated by the ultimate fairy tale, and this one plays even better with an everyday woman becoming a princess.”

Kim Martin, president and general manager of WE TV and Wedding Central, which has devoted 110 hours to royal wedding-themed content, said that the royal wedding represents for American audiences an old-fashioned, fairy-tale romance that most will never get a chance to experience.

“Women across America grew up thinking that they were going to meet their prince and walk down the aisle in a big ball gown and live happily ever after,” said Martin. “The royal wedding is a fantasy come true.”

Programming executives add that they expect strong ratings returns for their respective royal wedding coverage despite the programming clutter because American audiences are fascinated with the majesty of  the event.

“Royal weddings come along very rarely … it seems like the one event the world comes together around in a very romantic, filled-with-pageantry kind of way,” said Suzanne Kolb, president of marketing, news and online for E! and Style. Along with its on-air personality Giuliana Rancic providing live coverage of the wedding, E! will offer a April 29 primetime special episode of Fashion Police hosted by on-air talent Joan Rivers and Kelly Osbourne recapping the day’s events.

“They are in many ways this wonderful, young couple that is a sign of hopeful happiness in a window of time where there isn’t a lot of that happening in the world,” she added.