US media ramps up wedding coverage
By Virginie Montet
Washington - While the British are already overwhelmed by the media frenzy surrounding Prince William's wedding, coverage in the United States is just now heating up and will reach fever pitch in the week before the ceremony.
Diane Hall, the president of 2 For Life Media, a a Canadian company that launched an iPad application for the royal wedding to take place at Westminster Abbey on April 29, said: "It's catching on pretty quickly in the US.
"There is a fascination and the degree of media coverage is really starting to pick up now on the networks.
"The amount of investment by the networks is significant."
The marriage of Prince William Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton is expected to attract 2.5 billion television viewers from around the world - more than two-and-a-half times the audience of the marriage of William's parents Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, in 1981.
American television networks and cable channels plan to move their headquarters to the banks of the River Thames a week before the big day.
The NBC network and its cable affiliate MSNBC plan 20 hours of coverage on the day of the wedding, with a dozen of their journalists and personalities on the ground.
Cable channels including Bravo and E! will feature documentaries like "Inside the Royal Wedding" and will grade the royal styles with "Fashion Police" segments.
The original 24/7 cable news network CNN is dispatching 50 of its staff including top stars Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan, who replaced Larry King, to London.
CNN will begin its wedding day coverage at in the United States at 04:00 the day of the wedding.
In the days before the wedding, CNN will premiere a documentary dedicated to the future princess, entitled "The Woman Who Would be Queen."
The piece focuses on Middleton's life and looks at the origins of the romance from their university days at St Andrews.
But with the exploding popularity of microblogging, social media and digital applications - nearly every media outlet has a royal wedding app - the wedding is the perfect multimedia event.
"It's a great story, a good news event," Hall said. "The big change is social media...you can watch it when you want. At the end of the day, people want to comment on it."