Rumors based on a job listing that BitTorrent, Inc. was looking to launch a live TV news channel were confirmed last week when the company hired former CNN writer and producer Harrison Bohrman to head up the newly formed BitTorrent News, but no launch date was mentioned.
The launch date is no longer a mystery, as BitTorrent announced Wednesday that the streaming news service will launch on July 18. This is the same day as the Republican National Convention, and the network will make its debut with coverage of the convention. BitTorrent News will stream from 10 to 12 hours a day during the convention, offering play-by-play commentary on speeches and news developments as well as guest commentary.
“Television news has been stagnating for some time,” BitTorrent vice president of media Erik Schwartz said in a statement. “It’s having trouble appealing to a generation that grew up online. We’re building BitTorrent News to solve that problem. We are using superior data and tools and the Silicon Valley ethos of lean startup to build a nimble news organization that will learn quickly from user behavior.”
BitTorrent dipped a toe in the political waters earlier this year when it launched OTT News, which it called a “test case for for live-streaming.” Three OTT News team members will be on the ground with BitTorrent News: Alicé Anil, James Reinl, and Doc Stodden. They will be joined by former chief political correspondent for Al Jazeera America Micheal Shure, Al Jazeera and Fox News reporter Rita Chan, and podcaster, journalist, and comedian Justin Robert Young.
BitTorrent News runs on top of the BitTorrent Live platform, which was announced in May. This platform uses peer-to-peer technology to allow streaming without the massive server costs generally associated with streaming video. The multi-channel app is currently available on Apple TV devices and computers running Mac OSX, with more platforms expected to be added in the near future.