NEW YORK — Barack Obama's plan to accept the Democratic presidential nomination at a Denver outdoor stadium instead of the arena in which his party's convention will be held sent the television networks scrambling Monday.
Only hours after Obama announced he would make his speech at the 76,000-seat Invesco Field at Mile High instead of the Pepsi Center, executives at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News Channel held a conference call to discuss how it affects their carefully considered plans to pool camera coverage of the event.
The budget-conscious broadcast networks will also consider scaling back the size of studios they traditionally build at the convention center, knowing they will also have to prepare perches for their anchors at the stadium, said executives at three networks who spoke on condition of anonymity because no decisions had been made.
The broadcast networks haven't announced their plans, but it's likely they will each set aside one hour in prime-time for three of the four nights of the convention. That will include Obama's speech, and most likely the acceptance speech for the Democratic vice presidential candidates.
CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC will have more extensive coverage, and aren't likely to be scaling back. MSNBC will anchor its coverage from an outdoor studio in Denver, and CNN has a mobile studio that it plans to use.
"The viewers on cable will see everything and the people who watch on the networks will be able to see everything as well," said David Bohrman, CNN executive in charge of political coverage.