800 mil to track 'Today'

FROM MIPCOM

CANNES — Ray Charles, the Eurythmics, Sting, Bryan Ferry and Simply Red are among a growing list of artists that have signed up to be part of “The Millennium Event — 2000 Today.”

The broadcast, one of the most ambitious television ventures ever attempted, will bring together some 50 networks which will track the dawning of the year 2000 as it occurs across the world.

With just 88 days to go, project initiator and producer Zvi Dor-Ner of WGBH Boston admitted that “2000 Today” is “an amazingly ambitious and complicated operation. The challenges are absolutely huge.”

800 mil audience expected

Coordinated by the BBC, event is expected to hit an audience of 800 million. Just how much it will cost, however, is anyone’s guess. The core operation, which includes production salaries and the renting of satellite capacity, is budgeted at around $8 million, with major broadcasters, such as France’s TF1, paying just over $500,000 to be part of the operation.

Each of the broadcasters will fund and produce local content which goes into a 26-hour pool, available to all “2000 Today” broadcasters.

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