Detail map of London, England, United Kingdom Overview map of London, England, United Kingdom

A: London, England, United Kingdom

"Our World," the First Live, International Satellite Television Production

Our World title card
Our World title card

The Our World TV special, the first live, international satellite television production, was broadcast on June 25, 1967 from the BBC control room in London, using the Intelsat I (Early Bird), Intelsat II and ATS-1 satellites.

 "Creative artists, including opera singer Maria Callas, The Beatles and painter Pablo Picasso, representing nineteen different nations were invited to perform or appear in separate segments featuring their respective countries. The two-and-half-hour event had the largest television audience ever up to that date: an estimated 400 million people around the globe watched the broadcast. Today, it is most famous for the segment from the United Kingdom starring The Beatles. They sang their specially composed song "All You Need Is Love" to close the broadcast.

"The project was conceived by BBC producer Aubrey Singer. It was transferred to the European Broadcasting Union, but the master control room for the broadcast was still at the BBC in London. . . .

"It took ten months to bring everything together. One hitch was the sudden pull-out of the Eastern Bloc countries headed by the Soviet Union in the week leading up to the broadcast. Apparently it was a protest at the Western nations' response to the Six-Day War.

"The ground rules included that no politicians or heads of state could participate in the broadcast. In addition, everything had to be 'live', so no use of videotape or film was permitted. Ten thousand technicians, producers, and interpreters took part in this massive broadcast. Each country would have its own announcers, due to language issues, and interpreters would voice-over the original sound when not in a country's native language. In the end 14 countries participated in the production that was transmitted to 31 countries with an estimated audience of between 400 and 700 million people" (Wikipedia article on Our World [TV special] accessed 10-26-2014).

Timeline Themes

Related Entries