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Now playing in your living room: Jim Moran and Donna Edwards

Updated 12:20 p.m.
Tired of clicking your remote and finding nothing you want to watch? Cable subscribers in the D.C. area now have a new viewing option -- the Jim Moran and Donna Edwards channels.

Starting today, the longtime representative of Virginia's 8th congressional district can be seen 24/7 on "Jim Moran OnDemand," while Maryland Democrat Edwards can be seen on a similar channel of her own. Moran's office calls the venture "a dynamic information and news channel accessed through the OnDemand function on your remote control." The office adds that more than 114,000 Northern Virginians subscribe to OnDemand through Comcast, Cox and Via Media. Edwards' show is available to Maryland Comcast subscribers.

You can get a taste of what's available on Moran's YouTube channel:

Beyond that introductory video, there are segments focusing on the environment and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other topics. Moran's office says the format "allow[s] for in-depth policy discussion on complex issues which can be continuously updated. The unique 'fireside chat' format was used to create a more intimate connection with the viewer."

Moran and Edwards are two of the four lawmakers now using the service -- the other two are Reps. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas). The channels, part of a project called "MiCongress," were created via a partnership with iConstituent, a Washington-based company best known for helping members of Congress and other elected officials manage their e-mail communications with constituents, and NCC Media, which dubs itself "the nation's premier Spot Cable advertising firm." NCC is jointly owned by three major cable operators -- Cox, Comcast and Time Warner.

"MiCongress is an exciting new medium that allows constituents to access information whenever it is convenient for them on legislation in Congress, upcoming events, and issues affecting the district and the country," Edwards said.

Members who use the new OnDemand service pay for it out of their congressional office budgets. Moran spokeswoman Emily Blout explained that members are "billed on a monthly basis, according to number of OnDemand subscribers in his or her district (about 2 cents per box). It's an innovative, comparatively lower cost alternative to mass mailings."

But will Moran and Edwards be able to compete with the latest episodes of "CSI" and "Two and a Half Men"? We'll watch the ratings and report back.

By Ben Pershing  |  June 17, 2010; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  Ben Pershing , James P. Moran Jr.  
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