ABC, NBC News launch news podcasts

ABC News and NBC News have each plunged into the world of podcasting with plans to offer TV newscasts as on-demand audio programs over the Internet, CNET News reported.

Podcasting software allows listeners to download audio shows for free, play them on computers and digital-music players when they want and subscribe to updates. The term comes from Apple Computer’s iPod, the digital-music player that’s taken the consumer electronics market by storm.

ABC News is now offering podcast versions of “Good Morning America,” “Nightline” and other programs via ABC The network is also creating several podcast-only shows. One, “The AfterNote,” offers political commentary every evening and builds on “The Note,” the network’s morning newsletter. It also plans to deliver four one-hour podcast exclusives, including “Real Life Desperate Housewives with ABC’s John Stossel” and “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith — The End of an Era.”

For its part, NBC plans to start podcasting hourly news updates from select cable and network programs beginning this month, CNET reported. The podcasts will include highlights from prime time shows, including MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” They’ll feature business, political and technology headlines from too, the company said.

Segments from “Today” and “NBC Nightly News” and programs created exclusively for podcast are on tap as well, the network said.

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