Live Aid – Pre-tech live Streaming

In 1985, 1.9 billion people across the globe watched Live Aid being broadcast simultaneously from two continents across the Atlantic Ocean.  Think about that for one second – it happened before there was the internet, before there was email, and before cell phones. 

This “live streaming” was done by satellites to television screens.   It may not be too much of a stretch that with Live Aid Bob Geldof started a revolution in the global telecommunication structure. In a matter of weeks Live Aid and Bob Geldof pulled together international television downlinks in multiple countries; navigated broadcast rules, treaties and legal agreements; and turned the three big broadcasets ABC, CBS, and NBC temporarily from competitors into collaborators.

Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats performig in Wembley Stadium

“Live Aid was a turning point in the global competitive and regulatory telecommunications infrastructure we see today. It brought new forces into the relationships between broadcast property owners and the rapidly evolving technological playing field. Geldof made that happen. Thanks to Geldof and the musical champions of Mandela’s cause, a fractured broadcast industry was brought together and able to beam messages of hope and freedom.” Carrington Davis, Wharton Magazine, December 12, 2013

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