Mediaite founder Dan Abrams plans to launch an online network dedicated to live courtroom coverage, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will reportedly be called the Law Newz Network, as an extension of Abrams’ Law Newz blog.
Trial coverage will stream from 9AM to 5PM, with footage repeating overnight, at least to start. THR points out that Abrams worked at Court TV in the ‘90s, where he covered, among other things, the OJ Simpson trial. That trial, which was broadcast live to news networks, was widely watched by the American public, but some critics say the cameras in the courtroom had an effect on how the trial played out.
Still, the launch of the Law Newz Network seems like an obvious attempt to capitalize on a resurgent interest in true crime stories. FX’s The People v. OJ Simpson and ESPN’s 7.5-hour OJ Simpson documentary were both popular and critically acclaimed. Then there’s Serial, HBO’s The Jinx, and Netflix’s Making a Murderer.
The first two trials to stream live will be those of former football player Aaron Hernandez, who has been indicted for a double-murder, and MMA fighter War Machine, who will face trial for sexual assault and attempted murder beginning on February 27th. In an email to The Verge, Abrams confirmed that after these two trials, coverage needs to be authorized on a case-by-case basis. Law Newz Network plans to file motions to permit cameras in the courtroom as trials arise.
The site plans to launch this upcoming Monday.