Anyone wondering how much mania there is in the rest of the world there is for the game of Futball, check this out.
This morning, eagle-eyed readers of the British papers saw the "shot all England had been waiting for," according to one tab: Wayne Rooney doing a bicycle kick. What you didn't see was the same picture in every paper, and therein lies a story.
Behind the scenes papers bidded on the shot, which was captured by a freelancer and immediately put up for auction. The Daily Telegraph paid some £10,000 for it according to a high-placed source; the Sun got secondary rights for £5,000. The Guardian, which did not have it, balked at paying for a news photo, though the practice is common in the U.K. with celebrity snaps.
The goods were also handled in a quite high-tech way: The freelancer reportedly made copies onto USB mass storage devices — those "penclips" that are becoming ubiquitous — and handed them over in exchange for hard, cold cash. I am told, quite relaibly, that one of the devices would not be relinquished until the purchasing editor went out and physically drained his bank account — apparently, a check was not good enough.
Photographers can get thousands for one snapshot.