Major UK broadcasters have engaged in a fierce confrontation with UK newspapers over the rights to live coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, Deadline can reveal.

The BBC produces the bulk of the funeral live stream and foots most of the bill, while ITV and Sky have also invested heavily in coverage.

The newspapers, through the UK’s News Media Association (NMA), had wanted to strike a deal to use the BBC feed on their websites. Funeral rights belong to the royal family.

While newspapers were still keen to broadcast the funeral live on their websites, Deadline understands that broadcasters have pushed back on making their coverage available at other UK outlets.

NMA’s membership base includes The Sun, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and a number of regional newspapers.

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It is still possible that an agreement will be reached, but the talks are expected to end.

In the meantime, newspapers are expected to continue with plans to use the funeral live stream regardless, accessing it through local news agencies that manage it for use by international clients. Newspapers have long subscribed to these agencies.

In correspondence to members seen by Deadline, the NMA this week laid out the principles for using these streams.

These principles, which emphasize “the solemnity and dignity of the occasion”, first state that newspapers will not enter into agreements with third parties to access the live stream.

NMA titles must not archive footage or use it in documentaries, dramas or comedies, the correspondence continues, and there should be no advertising around the web page hosting the live stream.

The correspondence concludes: “In exercising editorial judgments, NMA titles will adhere to the provisions of the Editors’ Code of Practice, with the fundamental principle that they will respect the solemnity and dignity of the occasion and, accordingly , will give due consideration and respect to the Royal Ménage.”

The dispute has been going on for a long time, according to industry sources, who said broadcasters and newspapers have been fighting over the rights to royal family events for some time now, not just for the funeral.

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, which is a national holiday, is expected to be one of the most-watched TV shows of all time, with more than 30 million viewers for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, about 10 million for The Queen Mother’s in 2002 and 13 million for Prince Philip’s final year.

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday September 8 and since then tributes have poured in from around the world for the world’s second longest reigning monarch. The likes of Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau and many other world leaders travel to the UK for the funeral and international news outlets will be out in force covering the event.

Coverage will begin in the early hours on the BBC, ITV and Sky News, with the ceremony beginning at around 11:00 a.m. BST (3:00 a.m. PT).

The following day, television programming is expected to return to nearly normal after the 10-day mourning period ends.

The BBC, ITV and Sky News declined to comment. Deadline has contacted the NMA for comment.