Times Square will livestream Jeff Bezos blasting into space aboard Blue Origin on their towering billboards tomorrow morning (Tuesday). The first human flight for Blue Origin is planned to launch at 9am EST.
UPDATE: 9:30am EST, July 20, 2021.
The livestream will be on the huge digital billboards — called “spectaculars” — on the side of the Thomson Reuters building at 3 Times Square. The owners of the billboards, Branded Cities, reached an agreement with Blue Origin to stream on their billboards in New York, Toronto and Las Vegas.
AdWeek reported that the idea had come together after Steve Ellman, CEO and founder of Branded Cities, watched Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic rocket into space on July 11. “I basically said, ‘We could livestream this from space’,” said Ellman.
The activation came together in five days, from idea to launch. “No one has livestreamed from outer space onto digital billboards,” Ellman said. “We’re supporting the Bezos family and space exploration. It’s really just a great day for mankind.”
The broadcast could also be a boost for Times Square footfall. Times Square Alliance (TSA) saw daily pedestrian traffic drop to 30,000 in March 2020 compared to 365,000 pre-pandemic. Since then, the numbers “climbed to 100,000 this March and is getting close to or breaking 200,000 many days now,” according to TJ Witham at TSA.
At the crossroads of the world, viewers can see the launch on a collection of six digital screens, including a 170-foot-tall spire, totaling 6,450 square feet. The coverage will start at 8:30am EST. The flight is scheduled to last 10 minutes and reach the Kármán Line, known as the beginning of space.
For those at home, Blue Origin will stream the event on its website blueorigin.com