Tomorrow’s Live Earth “Concerts for a Climate in Crisis” will reach more than two billion viewers on seven continents thanks to a far-flung media architecture including television, radio, online and mobile device delivery. High-definition feeds of concerts from eight different locations will be fed via Intelsat to the main production center at the BBC in London, where they will be intercut in PAL, then fed out in the appropriate standard and high definition formats to media outlets around the world. The concert sites include New York; London; Tokyo; Sydney, Australia; Shanghai, China; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Hamburg, Germany.
In the United States, NBC Universal has made its television distribution portfolio available to air different portions of Live Earth, including three hours of primetime Saturday night on the NBC network, 18 hours on Bravo, seven hours on CNBC, as well as coverage on the Sundance Channel, Universal HD, Telemundo and Mun2.
Online, Live Earth will be available exclusively on Microsoft’s MSN. Sprint, through its Sprint Power View network, will deliver mobile simulcasting and on-demand replays of Live Earth concerts at London’s Wembley and New Jersey’s Giant’s stadiums to its Sprint Vision and Power Vision subscribers.
Live Earth’s 2005 predecessor Live 8 was put together quickly, with venues added down to the last minute. Video of Live 8 arrived at the production center in a mish-mash of formats.
In contrast, Live Earth has been in the planning stages for many months, with NBC signing on for concert carriage early this year. Concert coverage will originate in HD even from countries where there is no high-definition distribution. Audio at the concert sites will be mastered in Dolby 5.1 for eventual DVD distribution, but tomorrow’s viewers will have to settle for stereo sound.
In response to complaints that Live 8 coverage (on a different network) carried too many commercials, NBC has committed to cutting spot time nearly in half. And mindful of the FCC and profanity that occurred in Live 8, the network will have live portions of Live Earth on a multisecond delay in order to bleep out any language or video deemed offensive.
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