Doctor Who 50th anniversary special breaks simulcast record

November 24, 2013

Last night’s Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, titled “The Day of the Doctor,” has broken the world record for live simulcast of a television drama.

Series Executive Producer and Head Writer Steven Moffat recieved the Guinness World Record award today following a global campaign from England’s BBC that saw “The Day of the Doctor” broadcast simultaneously in 94 countries across six continents.

Tim Davie, CEO BBC Worldwide, was quoted in the previous article as saying, “We knew we were attempting something unprecedented in broadcast history, not only because Doctor Who is a drama, unlike a live feed event such as a World Cup football match or a Royal Wedding, but because we had to deliver the episode in advance to the four corners of the world so that it could be dubbed and subtitled into 15 different languages”.

“Day of the Doctor” was created as a celebration of the titular, alien time-lord, and, on top of current “Doctor” Matt Smith, included cameos from popular previous incarnations David Tenant and Tom Baker, and featured actor John Hurt as a previously-unseen version of the character.

The event demonstrates a convergence of multiple broadcast and distribution avenues; on top of airing the episode live on international subsidiaries or joint-channels like BBC America or Australia’s ABC, the BBC set up live screenings in over 1,500 cinemas worldwide, more than half of which were in 3D, and ranged from places like the UK to Russia and Scandinavia.

The episode followed a week-long celebration of the series by the BBC, as well as months of marketing hype. It demonstrates a remarkable example of a network distributing an international event across multiple mediums.

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