For the Academy's consideration: Big Blue Live.

Entry Category: New Approaches: Documentary    
Title: Big Blue Live    
Original URL:     
Date Project/Content Originally Made Available: 8/31/15   
Running Time of Submission:  49:30 
Production Company: BBC

In an unprecedented partnership between PBS and the BBC, "Big Blue Live" brought together scientists, filmmakers and other experts in late August and early September of 2015 to document the extraordinary rejuvenation of the once endangered and now thriving ecosystem of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California. Some of the world’s most charismatic marine creatures – humpback whales, blue whales, sea lions, dolphins, elephant seals, sea otters, great
white sharks, shearwaters, and brown pelicans – convened in this once-a-year confluence.

Airing LIVE in the United States on PBS over three nights between August 31st and September 2nd, as well as streaming online and in social media, viewers watched one of nature’s great “reality shows” delivered through state-of-the-art filming technologies and live reports from air, sea, and below the waves. The week prior to the PBS broadcast, BBC1 aired its live broadcast in the UK, and was streaming online and through social media for UK viewers. 

This world-wide multiplatform event was anchored by four on-air correspondents from a reporting hub at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and from aboard NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ research vessels. They were joined by science and animal behavior experts who provided additional commentary and analysis.

The event took viewers on a journey above, below and out on Monterey Bay for incredible moments never shown before on live television – including a rare feeding encounter between Orca, Dolphins and Humpback Whales and the first-ever live Blue Whale sightings. Reaching over 6 million viewers in the US and over 10 million across the UK, as well as millions more across Social Media and online, "Big Blue Live" delivered a rare, positive conservation success story. It was also far from a passive viewing experience – with high social media “click through”, viewing parties at local aquariums and science centers, engagement with students and teachers in classrooms and a grass-roots involvement up and down the east and west coasts of the United States. 

More than just a live stunt, "Big Blue Live" brought home the message that at a time when the world’s oceans are largely worse than they have been in 50 years, Monterey Bay is one place that, thanks to conservation efforts, is actually doing better and thriving – and therefore, if it could happen “here” it could happen anywhere.