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Wedding Coverage

SVT Says News Bureaus are to Blame

Publicerat måndag 21 juni 2010 kl 15.44
Image: Scanpix/AP

With multiple news stories and bunches of broadcast time allotted to the Royal wedding, many Swedes were complaining of media fatigue. But, the three of the world's biggest news agencies, boycotted the wedding. So, many newspapers and other news outlets around the world didn't get photos or reporting of this historic event.

The argument began over rights for video coverage. Reuters, negotiating on behalf of both AFP and the Associated Press, originally planned to buy 90 seconds worth of clipped video footage from SVT. But the news agencies took issue with a condition that the clip could only be used for 48 hours. Not having come to an agreement, the news agencies announced that not only would they not buy the video clips, but that they would not be covering the wedding at all, not with text or photos. Reuters cited freedom of the press issues.

So did Sweden miss a PR chance? The Royal Court declined to comment directing all inquiries to SVT which had exclusive television rights. But a PR consultant, Marianne Östlund, told tabloid newspaper Expressen that the media boycott was a catastrophe that cost Sweden big in the tourist industry.

The argument began over rights for video coverage. Reuters, negotiating on behalf of both AFP and the Associated Press, originally planned to buy 90 seconds worth of clipped video footage from SVT. But the news agencies took issue with a condition that the clip could only be used for 48 hours.

Not having come to an agreement, the news agencies announced that not only would they not buy the video clips, but that they would not be covering the wedding at all, not with text or photos. Reuters cited freedom of the press issues.

Video from the royal wedding is still available via SVTs Web site. Other news organizations like Getty Images and CNN did provide photo and video coverage of the wedding.

In a press release Monday SVT's president Eva Hamilton offered sharp criticism of Reuters saying that SVT had nothing to do with the decision to boycott text and photo coverage. She said:

"Reuters realises that media consumers in Europe have access to free video from SVT and, in other parts of the world, via the companies that chose to buy material directly from us at low cost." Hamilton continued to say that releasing control of pictures and rights to news bureaus for an unlimited amount of time would be unthinkable for a media company.

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