ABC News Now May Become Permanent


The 24-hour news channel ABC launched for political coverage will probably live beyond the November elections, The Walt Disney Co. president Bob Iger said.

ABC News Now was launched as a temporary service on the digital broadcast spectrum of ABC’s owned-and-operated stations, some broadcast affiliates, and cable systems, as well as broadband Internet.

The channel would ostensibly exist just to cover the political conventions and elections. But industry executives widely see ABC as testing the waters for a full-time news channel. Says Iger, "I think it’s likely we’ll keep the thing up, because it’s the future of television news."

ABC News Now started at the network’s broadband division. It’s being beefed up somewhat for television but remains something Iger sees as delivered to cellphones and PDAs. "I think this is, in many respects, the shape of things to come," he says.