What is the television value of Beiber?
This morning a concert had been organised by the Sunrise production team. The concert, to be held at a Sydney boat terminal, would be Biebers only Australian appearance. Tens of thousands of teenage girls turned out for the event, many arriving yesterday to ensure they were able to get to see the Canadian teen popstar sing three songs. With his handsome K.D. Lang-style looks, what teenage girl could resist?
The excitement turned to outrage, however when the crowd started getting out of control. The crowd of excited (and sleep-starved) teenage girls began to push forward. With so many in the crowd, those at the front began to get hurt. An ambulance spokesperson reported that at least 10 were taken to hospital due to hyperventilation, and another girl with a fractured knee. Other teens were reported to have been treated after not having had any food or water throughout the night as they camped for Bieber.
“I don’t think anyone expected Justin to be as big as this. His own people weren’t sure about coming to Australia as they didn’t think it was a market he had cracked and we thought we were taking a risk by holding the concert,”
– Adam Boland, Sunrise Executive Producer
With the concert cancelled, thousands of girls decided the best thing to do at 6:30am in the morning was to descend on Martin Place, where Sunrise is filmed, on the chance that Justin Bieber might make an appearance there.
Thousands more teenagers piled into Martin Place as the show continued on, finally rewarded by the appearance of Bieber at the window performing a single from his album.
Sunrise seemed to have dumped its entire format today, keeping its entire focus on the Bieber situation. News bulletins continued as scheduled, but the rest of the show was wall to wall Bieber. It was admittedly a quiet news day, so its difficult to fault the show too heavily, but there was certainly an element of over-kill. That said, it was difficult to turn to a different channel throughout the morning. It almost felt like a certainty that Bieber would perform a song during the show, but the element of danger (and what seemed so compelling from a viewers standpoint) was the situation outside the studio. Would it be a repeat of the incident that saw the initial concert cancelled?
It will be interesting to see the ratings come through tomorrow morning and see whether there was a significant bump in viewership against the other networks breakfast TV offerings.
The Sunrise brand will take a slight hammering due to the backlash against them for the concert, however it isn’t likely they’ll see any long term repercussions. No doubt there has been a few high level meetings at Seven today regarding the incident. That said, within a few days it will be business as usual for the Sunrise team. Though, maybe next time they host an outside concert of this nature, they might introduce a ticketing system.
Ultimately, was there any benefit to the Bieber concert this morning? For Sunrise, one would have to see it as being more trouble than it was worth. The possible ratings gain this morning may be trivial compared to a possible backlash (especially if talkback radio gets its claws into the incident tomorrow). For Justin Biebers management, today could not have gone any better. It’s made Bieber a household name and cemented his status as a bona fide sensation.