Networks to Lose $15 Million by Broadcasting Royal Wedding Without Ads

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BBC, ITN and Sky are thought to have charged $200,000 per feed to hundreds of networks worldwide.

LONDON -- Royal euphoria is big business, no question. The elegance, charm and excitement surrounding the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton could translate into to a $3.3 billion boom for the British economy in terms of combined tourism, retail and trade over the next year according to some estimates.

The event has put London in the global spotlight and provided an unparalleled spectacle of pageantry, ceremony and confidence from which the nation’s economy looks set to benefit for months to come. PHOTOS: Kate Middleton and Prince William say "I Do"

But the event has had its negatives as well. Commercial networks are thought to have lost out on as much as $15 million from running the hour long ceremony ad-free, while the cost of an extra day’s holiday for the nation is thought to run into billions of dollars in lost productivity.

However, broadcasters including the BBC, ITN and Sky are thought to have sold feeds of the Royal Wedding for as much as $200,000 per feed to hundreds of networks worldwide. PHOTOS: What Kate Middleton and famous guests wore to the wedding

The British Retail Consortium has estimated that shops alone could reap a $800 million payday from the event, with top sellers expected to be champagne, chocolates and picnic food - intended for street parties, barbecues and celebrations held up and down the country. PHOTOS: Famous royal weddings

And retail research group Verdict has put the amount even higher, predicting a billion dollar boost in consumer spending overall.

Merchandising lines from teapots, tea-towels and even bottled Royal wedding air and ceremonial condoms could add another $75 million to the tally, with travel and tourism accounting for $360 million in income.

PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the wedding day alone accounted for $178 million uptick financial benefit from visitor expenditure to the U.K., estimating that more than a million people will watch the wedding in London and a million more will watch it on big screens positioned around the country.PHOTOS: The 9 wackiest wedding celebrations

With visitors to the city spending up to $160 per day on tourist activities as well as staying in hotels and using London’s array of visitor attractions and restaurants, PwC economist Mark Ambler said that the wedding would foreshadow a boom period for London, which next year will host the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee as well as the 2012 Olympics.

“Our survey suggests that the wedding will be a great economic boost for London’s economy and a good indicator of the potential economic benefits of the Olympic games when more than ten times this number of visitors is expected,” he said.

But it is the wedding’s impact on the tourism industry over the longer term following the ceremonial event that has captured the attention of the world that is expected to translate into an even bigger economic boost for Britain that will more than make up for the costs of the heraldry and pageantry of the day.

“We are being very conservative and saying that the day will make around $67-83 million for London on the day,” said Patricia Yates, a spokeswoman for Visit Britain.

“But the bigger opportunity it that the spectacle will open up Britain to tourists and the attraction of this couple will really showcase the enormous assets that we have.”

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