Dems to livestream Charlotte convention

The Obama campaign announced Sunday that the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week will be livestreamed on the internet and a mobile phone app, touting the move as “unprecedented.”

The entire convention, which begins Tuesday and runs through Thursday, will be streamed at “from gavel-to-gavel,” and simultaneously in a Spanish language feed, said a campaign statement touting the coverage.

The statement said the livestream was part of an effort to make Charlotte the “most open and accessible convention in history.”

Viewers wil have access to “unique” online content and could join the conversation using the Twitter hashtag #dnc2012.

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said organizers were “revolutionizing the way political conventions are done,” in comments reported by USA Today.

“This is one more innovative and unprecedented way we are engaging every supporter in the President's vision for moving America forward,” said Cutter.

Additionally, the programming will feature web-only specials. On Thursday, Democrats will stream a convention special “Live from Charlotte” hosted by actor and former White House staffer Kal Penn , who will interview celebrity Obama supporters, including Marc Anthony, Olivia Wilde, Fran Drescher, Zach Braff.

Following Obama’s acceptance speech on Thursday, the website will stream a live program “featuring political analysis.”

The campaign also announced that supporters would be participating in 4,000 watch parties across the country, many of which would be spotlighted in the Thursday convention programming.

Republicans also livestreamed their convention last week in Tampa Fla. through YouTube and Google+.

The moves by both parties to highlight their own convention programming comes as television networks have scaled back the extent of their primetime coverage.  A report in the Wall Street Journal last month noted that Nielsen ratings for broadcast convention coverage have dropped since 1980.