Almost 70 years ago on 2 June 1953, our news teams were instrumental in delivering broadcast images of the Coronation of the young Queen Elizabeth II to millions of people worldwide. It was a landmark in the history of broadcasting - the first event to be televised and broadcast internationally and, for most people, the first time they had been able to witness an event of his scale, as it happened.
Then, on 19 September 2022, with lives fast-forwarded into a time of news streaming and images on demand, public service media news teams were once again at the frontline of a significant news – and historical – moment, delivering critical images of the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. Millions watched again.
Thanks to our Members in the UK – BBC and ITV – everyone in the Eurovision News Exchange (EVN) was able to access premium quality coverage, including hours of programming of the key moments and accompanying expert guidance and insights, shared generously and completely free of charge.
The resulting numbers speak for themselves. The announcement of the passing of the Queen on 8 September generated one of the EVN’s highest volumes of news items per day for 2022, second only to the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. The news cycles on 8 and 9 September represented the 10th and 9th highest volume days respectively in the EVN’s history.
In the 12 days since 8 September, the team has provided 733 (or 61 per day) pieces of published content and live transmissions, including 343 hours of live content (29 hours per day) across three channels.
For the state funeral, interest intensified across the world, with footage across 127 channels from 53 EBU public broadcasters (36 Members running it live on air on 64 channels; 32 channels using it continuously for between one to three and a half hours).
In our Eurovision News Events team, approximately 40 staff were involved in providing 26 stand-up positions, three radio commentary positions and high-quality broadcast facilities across eight key locations, including Canada Gate outside Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Edinburgh in Scotland, Windsor and of course, the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey. The team delivered 783 separate transmissions, amounting to 26,630 minutes which equates to a staggering 18.5 days.
Liz Corbin is Deputy Director Media/Head of News for the EBU, “Some events transcend the normal news cycle and will be talked about for years to come – this is one of those moments. It has been years in the planning. Not only because we knew the interest from a worldwide audience would be huge, but because those audiences trust us to deliver content that is accurate, high-quality and from a range of different perspectives and locations. It had to be flawless. Thanks to our EVN team, the BBC and ITV, and the reach of our Members worldwide, millions of people could witness history as it happened and pay their own respects to a remarkable monarch.”