In June, a job posting hinted that BitTorrent was looking to launch a live-streaming TV news network running on the company’s recently launched BitTorrent Live platform. Now, the company has officially announced the network, as well as its first hire.
On Thursday, BitTorrent announced that it has hired Harrison Bohrman to run the network, which will be called BitTorrent News. Bohrman will build the rest of the news team and lead the production and planning of the new network.
Bohrman holds three Peabody Awards and an Emmy Award for his previous work at CNN, where he worked as a writer and producer. Following his time at CNN, he worked as a senior development producer at Viceland, the television network that Vice launched last year. Bohrman has also previously helped with the relaunch of In Session — formerly Court TV — and co-created “What the Week with Pete Dominick.”
“I was sold on BitTorrent News the moment I heard ‘blank slate.’ This is an unbelievable opportunity,” Bohrman told Digital Trends. “We are building a network from the ground up. If CNN launched today what would it look like? If Vice News could stream 24/7 what would they do?”
Announced in May, the BitTorrent Live platform uses peer-to-peer technology similar to the file-sharing service that gave the company its name in order to stream video to large audiences without the need for massive groups of servers. This both reduces operating costs for networks — allowing for smaller budgets and leaner teams creating content — and aims to avoid the streaming issues viewers experience during high-traffic events like the Super Bowl.
“The BitTorrent Live platform has the potential to be a game changer,” Bohrman said. “Beyond cutting costs associated with streaming, BitTorrent Live dramatically reduces lag time. And when it comes to breaking news, time is of the essence.”
Many of the details around the new network are still unknown. While the job posting last month hinted that the company aimed to launch BitTorrent News in the fall in time for the election, no date or launch window has been announced. It’s also unclear whether the channel will be part of the free tier available as part of BitTorrent live, or if it will require a subscription. The latter seems more likely, as this could help draw more users to the platform.