News Agencies Boycott Ceremony
Media around the world have been left without coverage of Sweden's Royal Wedding, following the decision of three major news agencies to boycott the ceremony due to a row over broadcast rights.
Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France Press decided not to cover the event after negotiations with Swedish Television over TV rights foundered.
The news agencies wanted free access to 90 seconds worth of pictures from the ceremony,, citing the international importance of the event, while SVT said it was simply following standard European Broadcasting Union procedures for footage when it limited news agency use of the pictures to 48 hours. If the news agencies wanted to use the SVT footage for longer, they would have to pay more, the broadcaster said.
Despite the fact that the dispute was only about TV coverage, the news agencies also cancelled their text and still-picture reporting.
They made a last-minute plea to the Royal Court to let their cameras into the Cathedral, but the Court stated that all TV rights negotiations had been delegated to SVT.
Foreign Minister Spokesman Anders Jörle said he had met international journalists that were able to send text back to their newsrooms, but had no pictures to go with the articles. Jörle was unsure of the full extent of the problem, however.