Live 8: Once more, with feeling!
When it comes to live television, it’s rare that anyone gets to make like a Teletubby and shout ”Again, again!” But that’s exactly what MTV and VH1 plan to do this weekend after their initial broadcasts of Live 8 drew low ratings and a spanking from critics who derided the networks’ decision to regularly interrupt coverage of the historic charity concerts with commercials and backstage banter.
On Saturday, July 9, VH1 will air commercial-free concert highlights from 10 am-3 pm; MTV will pick up the torch from 3-8 pm.
MTV Executive Vice President Van Toffler told the Los Angeles Times that the networks’ office morale was akin to the Allman Brothers song ”Whipping Post” after MTV’s and VH1’s identical eight-hour coverage on July 2 drew average respective audiences of only 1.4 million and 762,000, not enough to rank among the week’s top 40 cable programs. (AOL, meanwhile, reported some 5 million unique users caught part of its streaming coverage of all 10 Live 8 shows; the Internet provider is offering on-demand coverage by artist, and by city, as well. Full disclosure: AOL and EW.com are both divisions are Time Warner.)
Now that MTV and VH1 have seen the Live 8 light, do you think they might also contemplate running the occasional music video in its entirety, without a talking head blaring over the top? Or is the Live 8 redux just a one-time display of good taste?