WCVB Boston will air Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration in primetime June 29. The benefit concert, featuring Aerosmith, James Taylor and other performers with Boston connections, took place at TD Garden May 30. The live event was not televised, and the web stream was rife with glitches, so many who did not attend -- and tickets sold out in minutes -- were unable to watch the production.
The concert, which featured comedians such as Dane Cook and Steven Wright in addition to the musical acts, raised $2 million to The One Fund Boston. It was organized by Live Nation following the Boston Marathon bombing April 15.
Live Nation president Don Law said Boston Strong did not air live on TV due to a lack of sponsorship, according to the Boston Globe, and added that he preferred to give more of the proceeds to the victims, instead of sinking it into production costs. Law had to get the artists to waive licensing fees, says the Globe, so the songs could be used in the broadcast.
"The concert generated enormous goodwill and enthusiasm, but only those with a ticket saw the entire event as the live stream was challenged," said Bill Fine, WCVB president and general manager. "We thought everyone should be able to see it. Don Law, Live Nation and all the performers agreed. As a result we can bring this gift to all of Boston all via the still vital medium of free over the air broadcast television."
WCVB is a Hearst TV-owned ABC affiliate in DMA No. 7. The show will run 7-11 p.m. in HD.