Conventions Curtailed

The broadcast networks are considering the option of anchoring coverage of the Democratic National Convention from some location in Denver other than the site of the event, the Pepsi Center.

According to the Politico, that is one of several alternatives being talked about after Barack Obama’s decision to accept the nomination at the much larger Invesco Field.

David Paul Kuhn writes, “The latter possibility — anchoring from somewhere in Denver other than the Pepsi Center or Invesco Field — would save money for the networks on expensive cabling fees, large set costs, staging and staffing, and would allow the networks to plan for the convention with significantly more independence from the convention staff, a pleasing notion to the networks.

“Already, the planner added, “we’ve been searching for cost cuts everywhere” to “find money in little places to avoid cutting major election night needs.””

The irony is that the networks have been looking to capitalize on the intense interest in this year’s election, with record ratings for presidential debates. There’s been thinking that perhaps ratings would improve for the conventions, which have for years free of much drama and have been all but advertisements for the party standard bearer.

Obama’s plans to give his nomination speech at Invesco Field also raise already high expectations for him to deliver a knockout performance, and there will be plenty of comparisons to the oratory he gave in 2004, when he was just an Illinois state senator.

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