The announcement on Tuesday, November 16 itself has changed a lot of networks' schedules, let alone the wedding coverage next year which is expected to draw the biggest number in TV history.
Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement has set networks in frenzy for it is the start of a television event of 2011. The sudden announcement forced networks to shuffle the schedule, be it sparing a slot for the publicized announcement or airing royal family-related programs or preparing for the actual wedding broadcast.
Taking the cue from William's parents' wedding in 1981, about 750 million people around the world witnessed the exchange of vows at London's St Paul's Cathedral. Wedding of William and Kate is expected to exceed that number now that television is more accessible.
BBC which is expected to lead the broadcast said to THR through its rep on Tuesday, "Today's news will be greeted with huge interest and excitement and we very much hope we will be able to broadcast the service to the U.K. and the world. If that is the case, there is no doubt the wedding will be enjoyed by one of the biggest audiences in history."
William and his fiancee plan for a spring or summer 2011 wedding in London but rumor has it they won't officiate it at St Paul's Cathedral. He proposed to her while on vacation in Kenya and gave her Princess Diana's engagement ring. They have been dating for eight years after meeting at University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Since the Tuesday announcement, Sky News and the BBC cameras have been placed outside the Middleton family home in Bucklebury in Berkshire and outside Buckingham Palace to dig more stories but none of the family members were available for interviews in the freezing cold weather. Security and barrier have been tightened consequently.
BBC goes to the length of scrapping its evening program and air "William & Kate: A Royal Engagement" at 7.30 P.M. while Sky News opts to air a special called "William and Kate: A Royal Wedding".
Stateside, ABC's "Nightline" offers "A Very British Wedding" at 11:35 P.M. while NBC's "Dateline" serves "William & Kate: A Royal Love Story" at 10 P.M. CBS is placing anchor Erica Hill outside Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, November 17 for "Early Show". NBC will also air "The Man Who Will Be King" at 9 P.M. on Friday, November 19.