NBC Nightly News plans to go hi-def

Washington (DC) - NBC has announced that it is planning to air its nightly news program, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams, in high definition, which would make it the only network news show in its timeslot to do so, according to a report on TVPredictions.com.

Currently, the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric and ABC's 6:30 PM news broadcast only air in standard definition, and the networks simply simulcast their SD feeds to their hi-def airwaves.

High definition newscasts largely began with HDNet's program Dan Rather Reports. Since then, NBC and ABC both started offering their morning shows in HD, and several major markets, including Los Angeles and New York, now have local broadcasts in 1080i resolution. CNN is working on an HD version of its 24-hour news coverage, which may make a debut this year. Additionally, a hi-def feed of MSNBC is also in the pipeline, but is not expected to be available until 2008.

NBC, which has struggled to capture viewer share in prime time, has long held top ranks in morning and late night programming, six hours of which it airs in HD every weekday, more than any other network. The addition of the evening news program in HD is also expected to coincide with rollout of local news broadcasts in hi-def for a handful of NBC affiliates.

The high-definition broadcast of Brian Williams's newcast is planned to debut in the second half of next month.