Called "ABC News Live," the program will broadcast raw footage of press conferences from the White House, Pentagon and State Department, and speeches from politicians and policy makers. The service, announced Wednesday, will also let viewers use a "virtual control room" for special events, through which they can watch feeds and headlines from four screens simultaneously.
Replays of popular ABC News programs, such as "World News Tonight," "Nightline," "Primetime," "20/20," and "Good Morning America," will also be included in the package.
"ABC News Live" will only be available to subscribers of ABC News on Demand, which costs $4.95 a month, and of RealNetworks's RealOne SuperPass, which costs $9.95 month but includes other outlets such as CNN and Major League Baseball.
Wednesday's announcement underscores the growing interest among TV broadcasters and content producers to stream video over the Internet. On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced it would sellthroughout the 2003 season for $14.95 a month, $79.95 a season or $2.95 on a pay-per-view basis. AOL Time Warner's CNN.com also charges people to view video clips on its Web site.
Last month, Web portal Yahoo unveiled plans to launch acalled Yahoo Platinum, which will compete directly with RealNetworks. Yahoo has been in discussions with News Corp.'s Fox, Viacom's CBS and Walt Disney's ABC News to offer their content on the service, according to sources close to the negotiations.
For ABCNews.com, the push into offering more broadband content is an attempt to tap daytime viewers who don't have access to a TV but are hungry for breaking news.
"At a time when more people are getting their news online during the day, it is critical that we make more content available to our audience," Bernard Gershon, general manager of ABCNews.com, said in a statement.