2000 Today

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2000 Today was an internationally broadcast television special which commemorated the beginning of the Year 2000, or the Millennium. This program included New Year's Eve celebrations, musical performances, and other features from participating nations. The international television special aired in over 78 countries in 32 languages, such as English, German, Tagalog, Spanish, French, Italian, and others.

Most international broadcasts such as Olympic Games, the Super Bowl, and the FIFA World Cup coverages originate from a limited area for worldwide distribution. 2000 Today, however, was rare in that its live and taped programming originated from member countries and represented all continents. 2000 Today was nominated by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and won the prestigious Promax World Class Award.

Up to 5,000 staff worked on 2000 Today, 1,500 of them in BBC Television Centre in West London, where all eight television studios were used during the 28-hour broadcast. 2000 Today had a worldwide audience of 800 million people, with an audience of 12.6 million people on the BBC alone. 2000 Today is estimated to have cost $6 million to produce and broadcast.

History[edit]

BBC News special titles for bulletins during the 2000 Today programme.

2000 Today was conceived as part of the so-called Millennium celebrations, given the numerical significance of the change from 1999 to 2000.

The programme was produced and televised by an international consortium of 60 broadcasters, headed by the BBC in the UK and WGBH in the United States, with support from the American Broadcasting Company, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of Australia, RTL Television of Germany, TV Asahi of Japan, Telewizja Polska (TVP) of Poland, GMA Network of the Philippines, and TVE of Spain. The BBC provided the production hub for receiving and distributing the 78 international satellite feeds required for this broadcast.

The programme's theme song was a version of Bob Marley's song "One Love" performed by The Gipsy Kings, Ziggy Marley, Tsidii Le Loka and the Boys Choir of Harlem. Sony released a soundtrack CD for 2000 Today which included this song plus A World Symphony for the Millennium by Tan Dun.

Most nations that observe the Islamic calendar were not involved in 2000 Today. However, a few predominantly Muslim nations were represented among the programme's worldwide broadcasters such as Egypt (ETV) and Indonesia (RCTI).

Africa was minimally represented in 2000 Today. The only participating nations from that continent were Egypt and South Africa. Portugal-based RTP Africa distributed the programme to some African nations.

Antarctica was mentioned on the programme schedule, although it was unclear if 2000 Today coverage was recorded or live.

Program timeline[edit]

2000 Today's core international broadcast was 28 hours long, following the beginning of the New Year 2000 across the world's time zones.

The program was tailored by individual broadcasters to provide local content and hosts.

The international broadcast began 31 December 1999 approximately 09:00 UTC. 2000 Today went international at 09:40 UTC, with the Kiribati Line Islands celebrating the arrival of 2000 at 10:00 UTC.

One of the telecasts of 2000 Today was the Philippine millennium broadcaster GMA Network, commissioned to air Regine Velasquez's song "Written in the Sand" in 60 countries. Afterwards, Mike Enriquez had its message for the millennium:

“From the Filipino people and the rest of the world. Grave it in your own image and likeness. Worthy to be called, Your children. Not only in this New Millenium, but for All Times.”

Most of Europe celebrated midnight on 31 December 1999 23:00 UTC. Broadcasting celebrations from many countries under Central European Time posed a particularly complex broadcast challenge. 2000 Today chose to rapidly air each nation's midnight observances in succession, using tape delays in most cases. This hour of the broadcast included a blessing by Pope John Paul II from Vatican City.

2000 Today's international feed ended shortly after midnight celebrations were broadcast from Samoa on 1 January 2000 at 11:00 UTC. BBC One in the United Kingdom continued its broadcast with national features until 13:30.

Personalities[edit]

National hosts[edit]

  • Canada
    • (CBC)
    • (Radio-Canada)
      • At the time, technicians at Radio-Canada were on strike. Transmissions were seen as scheduled, but using only the main feed from the BBC, with a French voice-over. Also, as a consequence, 2000 footage from Canada was scarce on SRC's presentation, while footage from Quebec were not available at all worldwide (though the CBC did manage to get the only Quebec coverage on their own network—a video shot of midnight fireworks in Hull, Quebec, shot from Ottawa, Ontario).

Music[edit]

Musical artists were part of the 2000 Today broadcast, including:

Participating broadcasters[edit]

The following nations broadcast 2000 Today. Some nations were licensees of the broadcast, rather than formal members of the broadcast consortium.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]