Live 8 producer heads co for live digital programs
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The executive producer of global
anti-poverty campaign Live 8 will head a new business for live
entertainment programing created by America Online Inc., XM
Satellite Radio Inc. and event presenter AEG, the companies
said on Tuesday.
Kevin Wall, executive producer of the star-studded Live 8
aid concert for African countries that included performances
from cities around the globe, is a co-founder and chief
executive of the new venture, called Network Live.
The venture, which was conceived of several months ago and
is not connected to the Live 8 campaign, will deliver music and
comedy performances over the Internet, satellite radio, video
on demand and wireless formats. Wall and the three companies
involved have equity stakes in Network Live, but other terms of
the deal were not disclosed.
“As Live 8 proved, this is a new era for live entertainment
on the Web,” said AOL Chairman and CEO Jon Miller. “This
venture taps into the immediacy of the Internet for live shows
and live shows on demand.”
Network Live’s business will be based on licensing fees
paid by its distribution partners as well as offering
advertising and sponsorships to marketers, Wall said during a
conference call with reporters.
The venture is focused on North American audiences, but
will seek distribution partners abroad, he said.
“Part of our opportunity as we move forward in the digital
space is to really build upon the community both in comedy and
music,” Wall said.
During the Live 8 performances, for example, viewers were
invited to send their personal signatures over the Internet and
see the writing appear as part of the backdrop on the concert
For future performances, viewers could have input by
sending messages online or contributing to a comic’s
improvisation, Wall said.
AOL.com, which streamed video of the Live 8 concerts, said
that more than 5 million people worldwide logged onto the
Internet to watch, making it the biggest streaming event ever.
AEG, part of the Anschutz Corp, operates live
entertainment venues, owns sports franchises in the United
States and Europe and promotes concert tours for such artists
as Prince and Paul McCartney. Internet services company AOL is
part of Time Warner Inc