The Isle of Wonder, as the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony was coined, was stage managed by Danny Boyle on Friday 27 after its formal pronunciation by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The £27million spent for the event was later regarded as well spent considering the amount of global coverage and magnificence of the event in general. For close to two hours, the event is said to have had global television audience of over 900 million persons (Ormsby, 2012). Depending on the broadcaster, the event was transmitted on a live global audience with few commercial interruptions. With such a live audience, one would be drawn to try and interrogate the consequences and impact that the modern live television coverage has had to modern day lives. As such, this piece aims to examine some of the impact that the live television coverage has had to society; the paper will largely be examined from a journalistic point of view. Live television coverage offers an opportunity for a myriad number of people from various communities to be interlinked through space and time for a certain period. During this session, the interconnected audience will have the opportunity to experience a phenomenon simultaneously and have the chance to remit their perceptions on its through various means such as through social media. Taking the example of the London 2012 Olympics, almost all the nations of the world were presented in the opening ceremony implying the cultural ties that were born on that night where peoples from all over the world had a chance to learn something more about other nations. This has the desired effect of impacting peace loving attributes to global audiences as everyone who was viewing the event would be cognizant of the fact that their perceived enemy is no more human than they are and at that moment in time, they are able to have a shared experience through space and time. Moving from the larger societal level, live television coverage has had a firm imprint on family values. During such sessions, families that might be separated by geographical factors will be in a position to view a common item after which they will be in a position to talk more about it in length when they have the opportunity to meet up for a family function. Taking the example of the London 2012 Olympics, with the chances that many families that were separated by geographical factors still having a chance to watch it, suffice to say that they would individually have their key moments of the event to talk about. Whether it was the James Bond entry or the Mr. Bean performance, each will draw in their own liking that they will then share in a family gathering. In such a gathering, the family will as a unit form closer and stronger ties when they interrogate the likes and dislikes of the London 2012 Olympics. Participation in live television coverage has been aided by the increasing use of social media platforms at the global stage. In most of the live programs, hash tags would be designed to enable people to interact and share their experiences on it. The London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony was but another event that drew global support. The extent to which the global family was tweeting on the event was said to have been part of the reason for the delayed feed in transmitting the live event. For example, in the US alone, it was estimated that their were over 9.6 million tweets on the opening ceremony alone (Shearman, 2012). An example as to how live coverage draws in public participation will be seen from the heightened spike in tweets during Rowan Atkinson’s performance in the Chariot of Fire scene. It is important to note that the increasing use of social media will have the desired effect of taking live television coverage to the next level of human interaction. Lastly, it can be posited that the use of live television coverage has been used for a number of commercial reasons. With live coverage, sponsors are given an opportunity to have a look at a new product of commodity or in some cases, have a humanitarian broadcast message sent out to them. The key point to consider here is that the sponsor take note of the masses that might be glued in watching the event and as such, by placing the advert, they stand to attract a good number of people.
Ormsby, A. (2012, August 7). London 2012 opening ceremony draws 900 million viewers. Retrieved August 21, 2014, from Reuters UK Edition: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/08/07/uk-oly-ratings-day-idUKBRE8760V820120807?feedType=RSS&feedName=sportsNews Shearman, S. (2012, July 30). Olympic Opening Ceremony tweeted about 9.7 million times. Retrieved August 21, 2014, from MediaWeek: http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/article/1143360/olympic-opening-ceremony-tweeted-97-million-times