channel 7 podcastFollowing in the footsteps of it's parent company, Channel 7 Eyewitness News launched three video podcasts last week which are now available to you for free through iTunes. Current content runs about three minutes in length and features such news worthy content as What's Bugging You - The Pregnant Belly Rub!, Neighborhood Eats, Ice Cream, and Joe Torre announces his reuturn to the Yankees. Thankfully it seems that they are just using segments from the nights shows, instead of entire news casts. When we tried to download the latest episode of Lost, it took over 20 hours for it to show up in their music store. If they follow the same time line, last nights news is history (although news about ice cream is always timely, in our book).

Along with ABC 7 in Chicago, they seem to be the first ABC news group to offer video content free to download through iTunes and compatible with their latest series of iPods. Disney, ABC's parent company, is the first out the gate with paid digital content through iTunes thanks to its deal with Apple. The Mouse House was, however, the last company to move over to the DVD format years back, and it looks as though they are trying not to be last to the party again.

Also available is Nightline with Ted Koppel, though only as an audio cast; ABC affiliates in LA, SF and Houston have launched similar audio only podcasts, but perhaps they too will add video content in the near future. NBC and CBS offer content through Apple's Podcast submission tool, but it isn't as robust as ABC's offering, as they only give you the latest episode, where ABC has an archive being built behind it (though the featured archive could be a boon from the Apple-ABC/Disney partnership). Still, this is some great free content, and with the option to subscribe, you can automatically have the latest news casts, like Nightline, available to you for free as they become available. We hope that other groups follow suit, and look forward to the Daily Show downloaded into the palm of our hands.