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Live 8 concerts could be world’s largest broadcast

Live 8 concerts organized by Bob Geldof to raise awareness of African poverty could become the largest global broadcast as they hope to attract more than the 3.9 billion viewers who were able to watch the Athens Olympic Games.
Organizers said on Saturday they were confident they could beat that figure after attracting 140 television networks around the world to show next week’s anti-poverty concerts.
They said millions would also watch the likes of U2, Madonna, Stevie Wonder and Sheryl Crow via the Internet.
Twenty years ago, Geldof organized the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia, which raised more than $100 million to help fight famine in Ethiopia and attracted an estimated 1.5 billion viewers.
This time, rather than raise money, he has organized eight free concerts to raise the profile of African poverty and increase pressure on world leaders to act.
The concerts will all be held on July 2, days before a Group of Eight (G8) summit of the world’s leading industrialized nations opens at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.
Organizers of the concerts say the addition of the Internet will have a huge impact on viewing figures and point to an American soap that last week attracted more viewers via the Internet than through television.
“This … live broadcast … will be the first to truly embrace the powerful broadband Internet,” Live 8 executive producer Kevin Wall said in a statement.
The International Olympic Committee estimates that 3.9 billion people “had access to the images of the (2004) Games.”
The concerts will be staged in Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the United States, South Africa, Canada and Britain.
A ninth may be staged in Moscow, organizers said on Friday, and a separate concert is being held in Edinburgh on July 6, some 40 miles from where the G8 leaders will be meeting.
“Everyone in the world will have the opportunity to view … this event and collectively we will come together to have our voices heard,” Wall said.
source : reuters