KQED Celebrates Big Blue Live with Special Reports and Events Starting August 28

In a first for PBS and BBC,  New Coproduction Brings Marine Life of California Coasts to U.S. Viewers in a Live Three-Part TV Event, Reporting Live from Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Monterey Bay Aquarium

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) adult breaching, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, July.
Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) adult breaching, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, July.

Monterey Bay’s leaping whales, soaring seabirds and engaging sea otters are coming to live television at the end of this summer, from August 31-September 2 at 8pm on KQED 9 (5pm on KQED Plus). In their first live natural history collaboration, PBS and BBC are presenting Big Blue Live — a three-night television and online event featuring the majestic marine life of Monterey Bay through live reports from air, sea, and below the waves. In celebration of this unprecedented “nature reality show,” KQED also will be highlighting the marine life of Monterey Bay National Marine and California’s coast with special reports and events starting August 28.

“We are thrilled about Big Blue Live. KQED has been extensively reporting on coastal issues in Northern California and marine life and research in Monterey Bay for years,” says John Boland, President and CEO of KQED.  “And now, with seasoned PBS and BBC natural history production teams focusing on this region, the whole country will be able to take a deep dive into Monterey Bay’s conservation success story, and hopefully be inspired to learn more and preserve the wildlife and nature in their own backyards.”

Paul Rogers, KQED science unit’s managing editor and the environment reporter at the San Jose Mercury News
Paul Rogers, KQED science unit’s managing editor and the environment reporter at the San Jose Mercury News

“The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches 276 miles from the Golden Gate to Hearst Castle,” says Paul Rogers, KQED science unit’s managing editor and the environment reporter at the San Jose Mercury News. “Thirty years ago, federal officials were proposing offshore oil drilling here, and now it has become a world center for

marine research.”


KQED’s special reporting around the rejuvenation of Monterey Bay and its coastal waters will highlight the people who helped orchestrate its rebirth and the future conservation opportunities and challenges ahead, including:

  • August 28, 4:30 & No ampersands 6:30pm –The California Report will broadcast a special half hour from Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • August 28, 8pm – KQED Newsroom roundtable how conditions have improved and what environmental problems remain for Monterey Bay.
  • August 31, 6:33 and 8:33am – KQED Science presents a news radio feature on marine DNA testing
  • August 31 9-11am – KQED Forum with Michael Krasny with Northern California ocean experts
  • August 31-September 2 – KQED Education’s “The Lowdown” blog explores the history of Monterey Bay and “Do Now” presents interactive discussion for teachers and students


  • August 29, 6-7pm – Big Blue Live sneak preview and discussion at the Monterey Bay Aquarium moderated by Paul Rogers including Dr. M. Sanjayan, one of Big Blue Live’s hosts; Bill Margol and Bill Gardner, producers from PBS; Aimee David, director of ocean policy and initiatives at the Monterey Bay Aquarium; and Chris Howard, producer from BBC.
  • August 29-30, 9:30am-8pm and August 31 9:30am-6pm – KQED Member special discount offer of $5 off entry to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and KQED tabling activities. Members who attend the screening will also receive 20% discount coupons to the Aquarium’s book and gift store.
  • August 31 8-9pm – KQED Education’s Big Blue Live viewing party for teachers and informal educators at KQED.
  • KQED will also be collaborating with PBS and the BBC on ongoing Big Blue Live special social media engagement. To follow social activity around the series, use #BigBlueLive.
Southern Sea Otters.
Southern Sea Otters.

KQED is offering an exclusive contest for local Bay Area residents with a chance to win a prize package of a Monterey Bay getaway weekend for two. The winner will have a personal, guided tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a one night free stay at the Portola Hotel & Spa.

“We are very excited about KQED’s commitment to additional reporting and public outreach in support of Big Blue Live,” says Ken Peterson, communications director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “From the health of our coast’s sea otter populations to reports on elephant seals, tuna and great white shark tracking programs, to automated rovers and exploration of Monterey Bay’s submarine canyon, KQED’s science unit has been at the forefront of reporting on new research coming out of the Aquarium and our sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.”

About Big Blue Live
Big Blue Live airs live on PBS including streaming online with social media coverage over three nights, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2015, at 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET, with another live feed to the West Coast at 8:00-9:00 p.m. PT. The week prior to the PBS broadcast, BBC will air its live broadcast in the UK, and will be streaming online and through social media for UK viewers. Big Blue Live is part of the new multi-title co-production deal between PBS, BBC, and BBC Worldwide North America announced earlier this year. The partnership provides a pipeline of high-quality entertaining factual programs that PBS and BBC audiences have come to expect.

About KQED
KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, serves the people of Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive media and technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.