July 26, 2004

New 24-hour ABC News, with even more bias for you!

Twice before, ABC tried to pull off an "all news" television channel, the first time was the aborted "Satellite News Channels" concept that would have been prime competition for the the fledgeling CNN had they been able to pull it off back in the early 80s. The "All World News Now, All The Time" format (lovingly called "FRED" by insiders) was another concept they toyed with in the mid 90s until NBC & Fox beat them to the punch (by launching MSNBC & Fox News Channel respectively).

Now ABC is finally stepping out by using multiple platforms to launch ABC News Now (Or as I've dubbed it, ANN). The new channel started this morning and will carry gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Democratic National Convention (hosted by Peter Jennings, Terry Moran & Mark Halpern), and 24 hour-a-day news and documentary programming from now until the November elections.

The channel is available in several formats: via digital cable on some cable systems, via one of the secondary digital signals on a number of ABC's HDTV affiliates, via Real Networks' SuperPass Service ($9.95/month), via your cellphone if you have Sprint/PCS' MobiTV service, or for free from your desktop if you have high-speed internet service via AOL, Comcast.net, SBC/Yahoo or BellSouth (I've got access via the latter).

ABC has promised to keep the 24/7 signal up through Election Day in November, but undoubtedly, if there is a reasonable viewing audience, the signal may stay beyond that.

Already today, PJ has been on, interviewing other reporters from ABC, and from print and online media, all of which are touting this as a breakthrough in the type of coverage available.

Posted by mhking at July 26, 2004 02:17 PM

Let me see if I've got this straight: ABC gets into cable news 20 years late, and it's a "breakthrough."

If I were CNN, I'd feel kind of like an Indian watching Columbus claim to have "discovered" America...

Posted by: McGehee at July 26, 2004 03:15 PM

I wonder how much $$$ they're sinking into this venture.

Posted by: Lola at July 26, 2004 04:30 PM
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