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Conventions Prompt ABC News to Grow HD Content

ABC, the last of the three major broadcast networks to go HD with its evening newscast, took the leap to 720p Monday night (Aug. 25) with “World News with Charles Gibson,” preceding the Disney network’s first night of primetime coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Perhaps because it will not officially go HD for its “regular newscasts” until Monday, Sept. 8, back in New York, no verbal or graphics mention of going HD was made on this week’s Gibson newscast—or on “Nightline”—which also took advantage of Disney-ABC’s HD equipment in Denver and went 720p this week.

ABC News’ “Primetime” also starts up in HD the week of Sept. 8, joining “This Week” on Sundays and “Good Morning America” in the HD lineup.

The Gibson newscast will air live from ABC News’ convention booth in Denver all this week, as well as from the GOP’s four-day meeting next week in St. Paul, Minn., before returning to ABC headquarters in Manhattan on Sept. 8.

ABC News, like broadcast competitors CBS News and NBC News, is devoting one hour of primetime per night for both political conventions in HD, while CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are devoting much of their broadcast day (and night) to extended coverage, with all of CNN’s reporting being presented in HD.