Disgraced US cyclist Lance Armstrong has agreed to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show later this month for a “no-holds-barred” interview that will cover his conviction for doping, to be live streamed to the world on the chat show host’s website.
The 90-minute special will air on US television on Thursday 17th January at 9pm EST, and will be simultaneously streamed on Oprah.com at the same time. With passions still running high on the subject, this should deliver a major traffic boost for the website.
It will be the first time that Armstrong has given an interview since being stripped of his many titles in the wake of a damning report by the US Anti-Doping Agency that detailed his use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
The Oprah Winfrey Network, which will produce the programme, is a joint venture between Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and Discovery Channel. Discovery Channel was the main sponsor of Armstrong’s team over a three-year period from 2004 to 2007.
Whether or not Armstrong comes clean on his use of performance-enhancing drugs remains to be seen however – many commentators have already predicted that he won’t, as the former cyclist stands to gain little, and Winfrey has past form of giving controversial guests an easy ride.
Editor’s view: This is significant as it marks another instance of a major news-breaking moment being streamed live via the Internet – a trend typified by the death-defying leap of Austrian Felix Baumgartner into the record books last October, which quickly became the biggest event streamed live on YouTube to date.