Live Earth’s Ratings Meltdown

As Iain noted earlier, in the UK, TV ratings for Live Earth were dismal for an event so hyped. Now the Nielsen overnight ratings are out in the U.S., and the news for the concert’s TV broadcast are downright disastrous:

NBC’s three-hour primetime “Live Earth” special, which included highlights from Saturday’s global concerts, failed to generate much enthusiasm in the ratings.

The estimated 2.7 million viewers was slightly under the 3 million viewers NBC has averaged on Saturday nights in the summer with repeats and the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs on what is already the least-popular night of television.

It also performed below the Live 8 concert two years ago, according to preliminary estimates released Monday by Nielsen Media Research.

The three-hour concert special from Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., drew a 0.9 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 — the same as a typical summer Saturday after Memorial Day.

The special was also just under ABC’s primetime coverage of the Live 8 concert, which occurred Independence Day weekend on July 2, 2005. Live 8 averaged 2.9 million viewers and a 1.0 rating/5 share in adults 18-49.

So, with about five times the population, the United States had about the same number of viewers for Live Earth as did Great Britain — where numbers were disappointing to begin with. Since more people seem to agree with Roger Daltrey on the usefulness of concerts as tools for social change, maybe Al Gore will now have a good reason to think that people don’t take him “serial.”