Sunday, November 15, 2009

Observations on MySpace/Grand Ole Opry

Last night, I took some time to watch the Grand Ole Opry on MySpace. I did not watch the entire hour as at various points of the show, either the picture went away or the streaming just was not very good. A lot of skipping. It could have been the feed from MySpace, or my computer. Either way after a while, I just got tired of it. A couple of observations:
>It was presented on MySpace just as if the show was being televised by GAC. Of course, it was announced later in the show that GAC will be televising that performance later in December. After that was said, I now am wondering if the Opry is eventually going back to GAC, since no other viable television options seem to be out there, or if this was a test-run with MySpace and GAC, where they will do this on a irregular basis, and then televise the show later as a "special event."
>Nan Kelly from GAC hosted the show and she looked pretty good and did her usual good job. She has been battling health issues, as I am sure most of you know. She did interviews of the artists during the show, just as if it were on GAC.
>I found it interesting that they showed Mike Terry reading the commercials during the show when there were live commercials, and MySpace also aired the video of the sponsor's commercials, such as USBank during the commercial breaks.
>They changed the backdrop at the Ryman. Gone was the old red barn that had been used at the Ryman for the past several years, and was even used during the Opry Country Classics shows. It was replaced by the same barn that is used at the Grand Ole Opry House, although it looked like on the video stream that they took out the small center section to make it fit onto the stage. The video box at the top of the barn was missing and that was the section that looked like was not there. The mult-colored backdrop just did not look right at the Ryman.
>And as usual, they advertised the 4 artists to appear, along with "others", and I did not see any others. Maybe I missed them, or it was just the usual GAC ploy.
>Finally, on the MySpace stream, it gives you a count of how many people are watching the Opry on MySpace. The number ranged from 65,000 to 73,000 during the portions that I watched. That's a decent number for a computer based show, and I do not know how many they hoped to reach, but my first reaction is that they thought a lot more people would tune in.

As I said, let's see if this is a new media idea for the Opry and this was an experiment to see if it would work, or if this was just a one-shot deal. My opinion is that you will see more of this.


  1. I was not aware of Nan Kelley's health issues. I did a quick Google search and it looks as though she's recovered. I wish her the best.

    It has been disappointing that the Opry no longer has regular TV coverage. Streaming it on the Web is just not the same.

    I am curious as to whether this is the first long gap in TV coverage. Would anyone care to offer a time line on the history of Opry TV coverage, what networks during what years, etc.?

  2. Here is what I have regarding the Opry and live tv. On March 4, 1978, the Grand Ole Opry was televised live for the 1st time as part of a PBS pledge-drive special. Both of the shows that night were televised and this became an annual event until 1981. On April 13, 1985, the Grand Ole Opry begins regular television broadcasts for the first time, as a half-hour program called Grand Ole Opry live on The Nashville Network (TNN). In 1987, the half hour show, Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry was added to the schedule and this aired prior to the live Opry show. Eventually, the Opry itself expanded to 1 hour and the Backstage show was dropped. In 2001, the Opry moved to CMT and then in 2003 it moved to GAC.

  3. Martina McBride twittered after the show and said the goal was 20,000 listeners and they got 96,000. I never saw that many, I too saw the 65-73,000. At any rate, I was thinking, if what I was watching was progress, give me back TV. It was a mess to have to watch. Really hope they get some kind of regular TV deal with GAC or somebody soon. I do miss the Opry on TV.

  4. I've been searching the web for most of 2009 trying to learn whats become of Opry Live on GAC. As you know, the website still says it is on "Summer Hiatus". This blog here is the first reference I've found that a tv deal might be dead for now. Hope not. I miss TIVO'ing the Opry live show on a weekly basis.

  5. hey, just found this citation in a November interview with GAC president Ed Hardy.

    "Q. The Grand Ole Opry Live series has been a staple of GAC's programming with two dozen or more Saturday night shows a year broadcast for a number of years. Has that been scaled back now, and if so, why?

    Starting on Dec. 19, we'll do our first Opry Live show this year. And what we're going to do now … we've both jointly decided to air fewer shows — but we're going to do bigger shows. The first one will have Carrie Underwood and Jake Owen.

    Through 2010, we'll probably end up doing eight to 10 more shows. They will be bigger talent shows than they were before.

    We feel it's better television and better marketing. You tend to get bigger ratings with the bigger names. To try to fill up two dozen shows on a Saturday night with a strong lineup all the time … it was hard to book the top acts (consistently).