Live Earth Sets Internet Record, UK TV Ratings Not So Hot

by | Jul 9, 2007

The worldwide series of Live Earth concerts set a new record for online streams delivered, reports Reuters (via MarketingVOX). But the concert proved a ratings disappointment in the UK for BBC1 on Saturday, drawing less than a third of the audience who tuned in last week for the Concert for Diana, Media Guardian reports.

While actual audience numbers were not available, MSN said over nine million streams from the concerts were delivered. That surpasses the old record of eight million streams set by the Live 8 concerts in 2005. While each stream likely does not translate into one person, that’s still a dramatic step forward.

Live Earth organizers estimate that, like Live 8 before it, the majority of streams will actually come in the weeks following the event.

BBC1’s audience for the event at Wembley stadium peaked with 4.5 million viewers and 25 percent share, according to unofficial overnights. That compared with the 14.8 million and 60 percent peak for the Diana concert last Sunday. Over the course of the evening, the concert attracted an average of 2.7 million viewers, a 17 percent share.

Criticism remains about celebrities “who own Escalades, private jets and McMansions” telling people to carpool, The New York Times reports. That credibility gap, according to The Times, has fueled much of the skepticism and sniping along the sidelines.

On television the whole event was smoothly corporate and conventional. On NBC performances by Ludacris, Madonna and the Police were punctuated with commercials for the Apple iPhone and Procter & Gamble’s Pantene.

Apple was probably not very pleased when David de Rothschild, author of “The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook,” urged viewers to stay away from hot new gadgets. “The other day this nice new phone came out, and I got really excited,” he told Karen Duffy, a co-master of ceremonies for the Giants Stadium event. Then he said he came to his senses. He urged viewers to combat society’s “consumer idolatry.”

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