As the first "Broadband Olympics" begin to wind down, the American political conventions are next up to get the broadband video treatment. While certainly not Olympian in their popularity, the conventions still have a rabid following among many, and given the particular dynamics of this year's election cycle, they are attracting far broader interest than usual.
The conventions have evolved a lot over the years. Traditionally they were a high-stakes drama culminating in a roll call vote whose outcome was often uncertain. They have become a largely drama-free corporate-sponsored schmooze-fest punctuated by a few high-profile keynote and nominee acceptance speeches. Broadcasters have taken note, steadily reducing their coverage and opening the door to cable networks to do the primary convention coverage.
In '04 the Internet crashed the conventions, primarily in the form of bloggers reporting on every convention utterance made. The bloggers will be out in full force at the '08 conventions too, but this time around broadband coverage is going to be the big story. Here's a partial list of what's on tap:
The Democrats also plan a Spanish language simulcast produced by Comcast, to be available online and also on-demand for Comcast subscribers. The Dems are also producing a 15 minute daily show called "Countdown to America's Future" available through Comcast VOD and online.
CBS anchor Katie Couric is taking on broadband assignments, delivering web-only specials for the first time.
Politico.com and Yahoo have partnered with the Denver Post and St. Paul Pioneer Press to host a series of eight political forums which will be streamed live.
Corporate siblings WashingtonPost.com and Newsweek.com will deploy a team of journalists providing live streaming via their cell phones using an application from Comet Technologies.
For those that don't take their politics too seriously, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and many other comedians will no doubt have viral clips flying around the 'net. Going one comedic step further, Generate and MSN announced just this week the premiere of "Republicrats" a satirical broadband-only series with 24 episodes running though Election Day.
I'm sure there's more broadband convention coverage I've missed, so please post a comment regarding further coverage.