AP to offer Royal Wedding video in HD

Announces plan as part of multiplatform coverage 

The Associated Press will offer high-definition live television to its customers for the first time as part of its multiplatform coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29th April.
The news organisation will offer a live, seven-hour HD feed to any interested current Global Video Wire or APTN Direct customer at no additional charge. The event marks the beginning of AP’s full video output being available in HD.

The showcasing of HD is a key advantage of AP’s multimillion-dollar upgrade of its global newsgathering infrastructure - the single biggest investment in AP’s video business since it acquired Worldwide Television News in 1998. AP Senior Vice President Daisy Veerasingham said the transformation of AP’s international video business, which includes a state-of-the-art HD and digital file-based infrastructure, will be completed in time for 2012’s London Olympics and U.S. presidential election.

“AP has a long history of covering events that capture worldwide attention,” said Veerasingham, who is overseeing the video business overhaul. “The royal wedding is an ideal way to demonstrate our new HD capabilities and help our customers provide the coverage their audiences want. It’s all part of our plan to offer customers more choice and flexibility in the content and formats they receive.”

Besides HD and SD (Standard Definition) video, AP’s coverage of the royal wedding will be available to its members and customers through text, photos, interactives and graphics. APTN Direct, a premium service for broadcasters worldwide, will carry the entire ceremony live.

Some of AP’s cross-format team of journalists are already on the ground in London and elsewhere, looking to supply AP’s thousands of members and customers with in-depth and historical coverage of activities leading up to the big event, including exclusive interviews with key figures close to the royals.

“There are few events that capture the world’s attention like a commoner’s wedding to a future king,” said Niko Price, AP’s regional editor for Europe. “It’s a unique mix of history and wedding details, gravitas and levity. AP’s reporters, photographers, videojournalists and graphic artists will put people in the middle of the action, and our coverage will be distinctive, authoritative and just plain fun.”

On the day itself, AP’s coverage team will swell with the addition of other text reporters, photographers and camera crews. They will take up positions at key vantage points across the city to capture the pomp and circumstance, the light moments and the mood of the day. They will give a sense of what it’s like to be there while watching the gathering crowds, the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the carriage journey to Buckingham Palace, the anticipated balcony kiss and the honeymoon departure.

“AP’s hugely talented photographic team will utilize the latest technology to provide those all-important moments from this historic day,” said Tony Hicks, AP’s regional photo editor for Europe and Africa. AP expects to deliver more than 1,000 images, and from certain key locations using what’s called “fast-file technology,” which ensures photos will be delivered to customers within minutes of being taken.

AP Images (www.apimages.com), the commercial photo division of the AP, is offering an extensive collection of photography covering the British monarchy. Other AP content will include social media components, interactives for websites and a stream of graphics for broadcast and video customers to integrate into stories and animated items in a variety of formats.

“The royal wedding represents old and new Britain -- a young couple getting married, becoming senior members of a family that represents centuries of British history,” said Derl McCrudden, Head of Newsgathering, Video. “We aim to cover it comprehensively and accurately, and to give our broadcast and media partners the very best insight into the many stories this one event will generate.”

AP Archive (www.aparchive.com), the company’s repository of video footage and visuals, has exclusive material featuring William and Kate from one of its partners as well as contextual material from the AP team.

Integrating all of the content, AP Live will capture the best of AP’s royal wedding coverage in text, photos, interactive and video in a packaged player that will feature live day-of video coverage with commentary. The player will be fully hosted by AP, giving online customers and their audiences a plug-and-play solution for royal wedding content.

About The AP
The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP. On the Net: www.ap.org
For more information, contact Sophie Toumazis or Suzie Schilling at tpr media:
Sophie@tpr-media.com; suzie@tpr-media.com; +44 (0) 20 8347 7020
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