There was one surprising silver lining on the black oil cloud of the recent failure of BP’s “Top Kill” effort– the live camera feed of the oil leak disaster drew millions of curious viewers from around the world.
The viewer response was so strong, BP has decided to launch the live camera feed as a new dedicated cable channel available this summer.
“We’ve been looking at viewership numbers and they are incredible,” said Rory Cappingstap, an independent producer hired by BP. “In overnights, we’ve been posting ‘American Idol’ kind of numbers, which is unheard of these days for a new show. We’re even thinking of getting Simon or Ellen as a guest commentator on our new channel.”
To offset the costs of fixing the spill, BP will sell advertising time on its network. “We’ve been talking with P&G about doing big tie-ins with Dawn, Tide and some of their other products that are smashing at dealing with oily stains and such,” said Mr. Cappingstap. “We’ll also have a heavy rotation of BP corporate spots letting people know how much we care about the environment and that sort of thing.”
If the oil leak is stopped in August, it would severely curtail viewership, but Mr. Cappingstap is optimistic. “We may not be able to cap this well, in which case we’ll be able to keep airing into the fall, and God willing, even get into the spring sweeps. With lots of hungry eyes and untold opportunities for advertising revenue, BPTV is the sort of diversification the company needs in troubled times likes these. This truly is Must-Sea TV! Rather clever, isn’t it?”