The Associated Press has launched its AP Entertainment news service in HD, marking the first phase in AP's move to HD, which will see all news content available in HD by the second quarter of 2012.
"Delivering AP Entertainment in HD is a major milestone in AP's video business upgrade," noted AP global entertainment editor Alicia Quarles in a statement. "As the leading supplier of global entertainment news, we recognize the appetite in the entertainment industry for HD content -- in today's information-driven world, it is all about choice and getting the content you want, when, where and how you want it."
The launch of entertainment news in HD is part of a multimillion-dollar upgrade that will transformed AP video business and newsgathering efforts by switching its entire newsgathering, production and distribution systems to HD.
The AP is billing the effort as the largest rollout of HD by any news agency globally.
The launch of AP Entertainment in HD will be followed by sports news via its joint venture with Sports News Television (SNTV) on Jan. 16, 2012. The completion date for AP's main breaking news service will be the second quarter of 2012 in time for the London Olympics in July and the U.S. presidential elections in November.
AP Entertainment Daily News is a dedicated video service that provides more than 300 stories per month on celebrities, fashion, awards shows, film premieres, concerts and theater. As part of the upgrade, AP's Celebrity Extra, Movies Now, Film File and Entertainment Now are also available to customers in HD.
AP is also expanding the amount of entertainment stories on weekends -- customers now have access to an extra 50 minutes' worth of weekly entertainment video.