Despite the title, Shark Attack Experiment: LIVE is not about watching sharks possibly tear someone to shreds on live TV. No, that’s not the point at all — even though the voice-over guy in the show’s video trailer (at bottom) ominously says: “There will be nothing between us and sharks. [video: young blonde woman paddling her surfboard while scanning the surrounding water.] Anything can happen.”
Shark Attack Experiment: LIVE (scheduled for November 25, 2011) is about raising public awareness of endangered shark species (or so says the program’s website). It’s about dispelling “negative myths about sharks.” And if someone is maimed or killed during this live broadcast — well, that would be sad. Very sad, indeed. Sharks attacking innocent people may be the Channel’s programming hook for Shark Attack Experiment, but it certainly can’t be the Channel’s goal… right?
On the other hand: Death by shark on live TV could be a huge publicity and ratings bonanza for News Corp, which is the majority owner of the National Geographic Channel. (The Channel has a history of intentionally pushing people to death’s doorstep on-camera; see video here.)
From the Shark Attack website:
Are sharks out to get you? That’s the driving question behind this high-adrenaline, two-hour live event on Nat Geo WILD. Shark Attack Experiment: LIVE will beam from some of the world’s most shark-infested waters off the coast of South Africa. Here, a team of free-divers and conservationists put their safety on the line to separate shark attack myths from realities. Also, on location will be shark attack victims to tell their stories and enter the water for the first time since their traumatic encounters. This is no stunt; the goal is to dispel negative myths about sharks and raise public awareness that some shark species are being driven to extinction by overfishing. …
If this is “no stunt,” then why bother mentioning it?