Pop Concert + News Channel = Strange bedfellows!!! 

21 September 2007 tbs.pm/68

At 6.17pm this evening, I receieved via an RSS feed, a press release from Sky Press Office, to inform me that Sky News had secured exclusive access to air part of Prince’s O2 concert from London from 8.30pm til 9pm this evening (Friday 21st September 2007).

Obviously Sky are very proud of this particular achievement and want to tell the world, but I have to wonder what is really going on here.

Now, 24 hour news channels are not just about covering breaking news, but also showing live news events, usually press conferences, or major speeches by top newsmakers. Now, there’s no doubt that Prince is a newsmaker. He made news earlier this year when his new album was released, not via music shops, but via the Mail on Sunday newspaper, free!

One line from the press release was particularly interesting…

“…Music experts believe the rock star?s decision to choose a news channel rather than a music station is part of the ?democratisation? of his music, making it more accessible to consumers.”

Part of me feels that whilst Prince is actively trying to pursue an agenda of using methods other than the traditional music industry ones, I feel Sky News have an agenda of their own here too. I believe it to be the straight forward trying to use a big name event to generate short term ratings. ITV News Channel did this quite a few times with UEFA Champions League coverage and it didn’t really work for them in the long term.

Also, with releasing the information just 2 hours before the event, it doesn’t give very long to build up any kind of ratings momentum.

This feels more like an ‘odd couple’ rather than a match made in ratings heaven.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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Ian Beaumont Contact More by me