Fictional Ron Burgundy and Stewie Griffin, along with the real Bill O’Reilly, have played a role in our thirst for live TV coverage – of just about anything. Take notice the next time it rains in Phoenix when we get overwhelmed with live team coverage.
It’s not just the weather. The MLB Network proudly boasts that it provides live look-ins just about every night to various Major League Baseball games in progress. I’m a regular watcher and a big fan.
If you’re a football fan like I am, the NFL Network offers viewers the chance to watch the NFL Red Zone every Sunday afternoon, hosted by Scott Hanson (not me). The Red Zone gives viewers the chance to see all of the touchdowns and most exciting moments from each game -- live and in high definition.
I’ve recently discovered A&E’s “Live PD.” The show, a grown-up version of Spike-TV’s “Cops,” takes its audience to live coverage of police officers responding to calls from six different cities around the country, using a mix of dash cams, fixed and handheld cameras, offering an inside look at each live incident.
Like a sports highlight show, the program has a studio host, ABC’s Dan Abrams, who lets viewers know where the next live location will be while setting the stage for the real-time segment. Tom Morris Jr., a former reporter-turned anti-terrorism international security specialist, and Sgt. Sean "Sticks” Larkin of the Tulsa, (Okla.) Police Department’s gang unit serve as “analysts” for the show. They provide their insight on what the viewers are seeing and what the officers are up against.
Among the participating law enforcement agencies is the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Trooper Kameron Lee, also a public information officer, said, “The Department of Public Safety began participating in the A&E show to give America a glimpse into the day-to-day life of an Arizona State Trooper and showcase to the public the great work law enforcement performs daily.”
What an excellent vehicle to do just that.
The other thing “Live PD” does is publicly encourage its viewers to engage on social media.
Update: In speaking of live coverage, Facebook has recently upped its "live" game by launching Facebook Watch, a useful tool in which users can stream live TV on smartphones, tablets, laptops and other connected devices, including home TVs. Live TV and streaming is everywhere you turn!