On May 24 2001, U.S. cable network HBO confirmed that it would broadcast Madonna’s Drowned World Tour on August 26th:
Madonna is taking her Music to the masses — HBO masses, that is. The cable network will air a live concert from the pop icon’s latest tour, the first in eight years, called the Drowned World Tour. Airing Aug. 26, the concert will be broadcast from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Madonna’s hometown. It’s a thrill for us to have Madonna back because we know it is going to be a spectacular show, with that combination of her amazing talent and extravagant style which only Madonna can bring, says Nancy Gellar, HBO’s senior vice president of original programming. HBO and Madonna last teamed for 1993’s Madonna — Live Down Under: The Girlie Show, which aired live from Sydney, Australia. The program was HBO’s most-watched original program of the year. Madonna’s first special on HBO, 1990’s Madonna — Live! Blond Ambition World Tour, premiered to record numbers and remains one of the highest-rated original programs in HBO history.
Unlike HBO’s previous Madonna tour broadcasts, however, the live airing of the Drowned World Tour was simulcast to Canadian viewers via premium channel, The Movie Network.
A re-edited version of the concert special was later released on VHS & DVD on November 13th, 2001.