NEW YORK (AP) – ABC News said Monday would relaunch its 24-hour digital news operation on television in July and continue to make “ABC News Now” available through the Internet and wireless devices.

The network started “ABC News Now” at the political conventions last summer and continued it through January, before pausing to decide whether or not to go ahead. It was available in a little more than 6 million of the nation’s nearly 110 million television homes.

For the first time, the 10 ABC-owned stations will contribute local programming to the service, which ABC News President David Westin said would distinguish it from other national news providers. ABC News will work to get other affiliated local stations involved, he said.

Westin described “ABC News Now,” with its multiple platforms, as a generation beyond traditional cable news outlets. ABC considered starting its own cable news station a decade ago, when Fox New Channel and MSNBC began, but decided it was too costly.

“We need to have news available to our audience whenever they want it, however they want it,” he said.

ABC will offer up to 50 hours of video on demand per month. So far, one of ABC’s most popular pieces of video on demand was Ashlee Simpson’s halftime performance at the Orange Bowl.

“ABC News Now,” available in about 30 million homes over the Internet, offers hourly news updates and continuous coverage of breaking news events. It will have a variety of short programs, like the business show “Money Matters” around the opening and closing bells of the New York Stock Exchange.

But for the most part, it will rerun other ABC News programming.

The participating ABC-owned stations are in New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Philadelphia; Houston; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Toledo, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; and Fresno, Calif.


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