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ABC television has locked up U.S. broadcast rights for the upcoming worldwide series of Live 8 concerts for African debt relief, with plans to air two hours of highlights from the shows in prime time, the network said on Tuesday.

The Walt Disney Co.-owned network licensed TV rights to the Live 8 performances from America Online, a unit of Time Warner Inc., which also owns North American and European Internet rights to the shows, an AOL spokesman said.

AOL plans to stream six of the eight concerts simultaneously on the Web, free of charge, making the event one of the most ambitious tests of live online entertainment, organizers said.

The shows also will be archived and made available on demand for about six weeks after the concerts in Philadelphia, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Toronto, Tokyo and South Africa.