Battle Royale: Winning over wedding watchers

As the countdown to Will 'n' Kate's big day continues, Canadian media companies roll out a cacophony of coverage. Here’s the rundown.

Canadian media companies definitely have the “something new” covered for the upcoming royal nuptials. From apps to made-for-TV movies, consumers can’t go far this month without finding multi-platform wedding content.

All the hype is not without merit, as mediacos should expect this wedding to top viewership of the last royal nuptials between Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Sunni Boot, CEO, ZenithOptimedia tells MiC.

“The Charles & Di wedding was massive across all touchpoints, including ubiquitous ones, such as commemorative tea cups and coasters, etcetera,” she says. “This wedding will be even bigger with social media, YouTube downloads, iPad streaming and, yes, live viewing at 6 a.m.,” she says. “It is great and refreshing – given what is currently consuming our news – and it will eclipse any election coverage or news that day. Candidates and leaders who want to try to get on TV, Facebook or the radio that day will do so at their own peril. Citizens of all ages will want Kate and Will.”  

Settle in with your tea and crumpets, folks, here’s an overview of the media circus ahead:

Bell Media recently released its multi-platform content plan for the days and weeks leading up to the walk down the aisle. It includes a bevy of cross-platform content, including programming on The Comedy Network, E!, The Discovery Channel, Bravo! and Fashion Television Channel as well as on CTV programs such as Canada AM, eTalk, the CTV National News and The Marilyn Denis Show

Online, Bell Media has created both and, which is part of its newly acquired portal. Bell Media is also interacting with viewers through social media tools like Twitter and Facebook and will be running a live stream of comments throughout its broadcast (which begins at 3 a.m.) on the day of the wedding.

Shaw Media is also taking its coverage cross-platform with wedding day content starting at 4 a.m. and the ceremony airing commercial-free from 6 to 7:30 a.m. on Global on April 29.

For those unable (or unwilling) to watch the Royal nuptials live, Global is also airing Wills & Kate: Relive The Magic at 9 p.m. featuring Global National’s Dawna Friesen and ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey providing a play-by-play of the day’s tiara-filled events.

Shaw Media’s coverage extends to its specialty channel Slice, which is showing the exclusive Canadian broadcast of the Lifetime Original production, William & Kate on Sunday, April 24 at 8 p.m.

Online wedding content will be available on Shaw Media’s The site will feature content from across Shaw Media’s brands, including BBC Canada, and blog posts from and, plus original stories and an archive of royal wedding video dating back 20 years.

Rogers Media has correspondents from Hello! Canada and Breakfast Television Toronto reporting live from London on the big day. Citytv’s coverage of the ceremony begins at 5 a.m., with a special edition of Breakfast Television. Nuptial-themed programming leading up to the walk down the aisle on Rogers properties includes a CityLine Royal Wedding Special and live hits from Breakfast Television in London, themed movies and specials on Rogers on Demand, and featured profiles on the Biography Channel.

Royal enthusiasts can also expect special commemorative editions of Rogers-published Maclean’s and Hello! Canada on newsstands in May.

Not one to be left behind, Corus Entertainment has also announced an increase in wedding-related content in April on its specialty channel W Network. It will also be showing a few “something old” Hollywood hits, including License to Wed, The Wedding Planner and The Wedding Date, in May.

Perhaps most salaciously, Harlequin Enterprises Limited has put its own stamp on covering the celebrations, releasing a series of seven Royal Wedding eBook novellas. Titles in the series include Terri Brisbin’s What the Duchess Wants and Bronwyn Scott’s Prince Charming in Disguise.

Finally, couples mag publisher 2 For Life is making its wedding content mobile with the Royal Wedding 2011 app for the iPad. Providing details on everything from dresses to palace protocol, the free app is available in the Apple App Store.