Update: including new quotes from show's producers
Washington (CNSNews.com) - Beginning Sunday January 23, and continuing for the next ten days, high quality, broad band live television coverage of both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary will be broadcast over the Internet.
The joint venture between the National Journal Hotline and the entertainment broadcasting network 21e was announced Wednesday by Hotline founder Doug Bailey and 21e CEO Rick Davis. Both men told CNSNews.com that they expect the marriage between the Internet and television to have a major impact on political coverage.
Hotline's ten days of Internet political coverage, called "Politically Wired 2000," will include eight live hours daily of political insight into the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary in different half-hour segments from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. EST, said executive producer Ann Klenk.
Additionally, Klenk told CNSNews.com, viewers will have continual access to rebroadcasts of each day's coverage, plus archived material that can be searched by word or topic.
The goal of "Politically Wired 2000", said Klenk, who was the original creator of cable television's political talk show "Equal Time," is to take a national audience behind the scenes in Iowa and New Hampshire "and show people how this whole stew is stirred."
"The future is now and I am very excited for Hotline to be a part of it," said Bailey.
Bailey described the ten days of continuous, live, repeated and on demand full screen coverage on www.21e.net as "The first real demonstration of honest to God high quality TV on the Internet."
Davis told CNSNews.com that he expects the Internet to have not only a major impact on the 2000 election, but to be the "dominant factor" in the 2004 campaign.
"Until now, the coverage of the American political process has been limited and networks such as 21e will remove the constraints that the large television networks now impose on the viewer's experience," Davis told CNSNews.com.
Of particular interest will be coverage of the media and how the press covers New Hampshire and Iowa, said Hotline editor-in-chief Craig Crawford.
"We follow the coverage wherever it goes," Crawford told CNSNews.com.
He added that the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary are arguably the most important political campaigns of the 2000 presidential season where "the front-runner status" of Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore "will be tested for the first time."
Without the time constraints of network television, "Politically Wired 2000"will be able to offer not only the usual political sound bites and punditry, say the producers, but also interviews with the candidates, their campaign workers, local reporters, taking "the viewer into the homes and public spaces of Iowa and New Hampshire to reveal the complete story of the presidential race."
So far, the campaign staff's of at least two candidates, Gore and Republican Steve Forbes, have responded positively to "Politically Wired 2000," said Klenk.