We have a test page with 2 RSS feed Web Parts, 1 Page Viewer and an XML Viewer. The issue is that when we try to consume the Financial Times RSS feed we are getting the following

ProtocolError occured trying to complete the request. The server returned a status code of : Forbidden and the status description is : "Forbidden"

This is the feed URL: Financial Times - Company - Energy . The feed will open OK in the browser and if used in the Page Viewer it will display too. If the link is used in the XML Viewer it shows the following error

Cannot retrieve the URL specified in the XML Link property. For more assistance, contact your site administrator.

I have also added an RSS feed to the BBC Technology feed and this behaves as expected.

We are using Kerberos and have no web proxy, any ideas on what would be happening?

  • Not sure if this is related, but looking at the two feeds in fiddler i can see the FT feed tries to set cookies using the header, where the BBC feed is much simpler. Jun 3, 2013 at 9:45
  • After some more investigation apparently the issue is because our requests are being made without a 'User Agent' so we're not being allowed through on their end. Research has come up with lots of information saying that there is no easy way to add the User Agent without a Proxy Jul 18, 2013 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


I did some testing of my own and set up my environment in kerberos authentication and no proxy. The BBC feed works as expected, but the Financial Times is from what I understand not OK.

I added the link to the RSS-feed in a text file /SiteAssets/ft-rss.txt and got a different error:

An unexpected error occured processing your request. Check the logs for details and correct the problem.

So I did. The logs tells me that the XML provided by Financial Times RSS-feed is not working with SharePoint RSS Viewer.

(GET:http://intranet.template.com:80/SiteAssets/ft-rss.txt)). Execution Time=66,7036    

06/28/2013 14:06:06.00  w3wp.exe (0x0354)                           
0x1D74  SharePoint Portal Server        Web Parts                       8imh    High        
Exception handed to HandleRuntimeException.HandleException System.Xml.XmlException: 
Data at the root level is invalid. Line 1, position 1.     
at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Throw(Exception e)     
at ystem.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.ParseRootLevelWhitespace()     
at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.ParseDocumentContent()     
at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.XmlUrlDataSource.FetchData(String requestUrl)     
at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.BaseXmlDataSource.Execute(String request)     
at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.BaseXmlDataSource.GetXmlDocument()     
at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.SingleDataSource.GetXPathNavigatorInternal()     
at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.SingleDataSource.GetXPathNavigator()     
at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.DataFormWebPart.GetXPathNa...  

I tried to paste, and validate the code in RSS Validator as well ,uploading the source to site assets, and point to the file, but still no luck. The same error emerges in the RSS Viewer and in the logs. So to the best of my knowledge, you can't use Financial Times RSS Feed in out of the box RSS Viewer Web Part. You probably need to build a special web part to make this work.


An easy way to solove this is to instead of using the RSS-reader webpart using the Content Query. It allows you to collect data from your site collection without having to install kerebros.

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