With less than two weeks to go until a historic presidential inauguration, the nation’s television networks are finalizing ambitious coverage plans, but the camera platforms will be more crowded than usual.
An Inauguration Day viewing stand rises on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.
At least a dozen networks, including relative political neophytes like BET and MTV, will be broadcasting from Washington. Nickelodeon is even sending two pint-size reporters, and QVC, a shopping channel, is setting up at one of the inaugural balls while it tries to sell memorabilia associated with the swearing-in of Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, on Tuesday, Jan. 20.
“You can feel the excitement in the air,” said Phil Alongi, the executive producer of specials for NBC News.
Sean McManus, the president of CBS News, said the network’s stations have shown strong interest in televising every hour of the proceedings. In fact, when the news division floated the possibility of ending network coverage in the early afternoon, under the assumption that the parade would start to seem repetitious, some of the stations objected.