The event of the millennium

CNN is pulling out all the stops for the Royal Wedding, according to The Atlantic

"CNN alone will have a team of roughly 400 reporters, cameramen and crew assigned to the wedding." To compare: A group of just 50 CNN employees, one-eighth the size of the anticipated wedding fleet, are currently on the ground in Japan covering the aftermath of the earthquake and the continuing nuclear containment problem.

This may sound like overkill, but the news network probably feels it cannot miss out on the opportunity. As reported recently in the Wall Street Journal, an estimated two billion people are expected to see at least part of the wedding coverage on TV. 

Add an expected 400 million for online streaming and radio and the number swells to nearly 35% of the world's population. An additional 800,000 observers likely will crowd outside Buckingham Palace the day of the event, many of them tweeting and Facebook posting and shooting video with their phones.

This would make William and Kate's wedding the most-watched event in history, surpassing the one billion who watched the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics and the two billion who watched the funeral for Princess Diana.

We've already learned that the BBC will air live coverage of the wedding around the world, including BBC America. Presumably CNN feels they can provide better coverage for an American audience.

But the timing of the wedding may not be ideal for media outlets. As the Associated Press reported earlier in March, it comes on the heels of some big, expensive events.

Already faced with declining revenues and stretched resources, media organizations have been hit by a bevy of expensive large-scale news events - the Gulf oil spill, the Chilean miner disaster, Australian floods and the chaos gripping the Middle East.

Needless to say, this story came out before the disasters in Japan.

On the other hand, the media might be the only global industry where productivity will go up on April 29.



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