CNN to launch streaming channel in early 2022

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CNN will launch its first standalone direct-to-consumer streaming service in the first quarter of 2022, offering consumers its live video content without a pay-TV subscription.

The WarnerMedia unit announced Monday that the service will be called CNN +. It will offer subscribers eight to 12 hours of live news programming per day at launch and have on-demand access to its library of series, such as “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”. No price was given for the service.

CNN, whose revenues depend heavily on cable and satellite subscription fees, is entering the streaming arena to reach the growing number of consumers who are bypassing traditional television. The live broadcast of CNN’s flagship channel with its on-air presenters Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, Don Lemon and Erin Burnett is only available to its current cable subscribers and will remain so with the arrival of CNN +.

Cable news is one of the main reasons consumers keep their pay TV subscriptions. But with hundreds of thousands of American homes cutting the cord each month, cable news executives know their operations live on borrowed time because, at some point, rate increases will no longer compensate for lost time. subscribers.

CNN + will be a way to get younger consumers who don’t have cable to get into the habit of watching CNN. Many of them are already turning to CNN.com for digital news content.

In recent months, CNN has been busy looking for producers and on-air talent to work on the new streaming channel. Kasie Hunt, a longtime Washington correspondent and NBC News presenter, has reportedly been hired to join the service. CNN did not announce his signing, but Hunt said goodbye to viewers on Friday on his early morning MSNBC show.

According to the announcement, current CNN talents will also appear on the channel.

“In addition to a television offering that has never been stronger, that remains at the heart of what we do today, we will offer consumers a streaming product that extends the reach and reach of the CNN brand. in a way that no one else does. “Jeff Zucker, president of WarnerMedia News and Sports and president of CNN Worldwide, said in a statement.

CNN + will be overseen by Andrew Morse, chief digital officer of CNN Worldwide.

CNN was cautious about getting into the streaming game because it didn’t want to disrupt the traditional cable revenue stream that has made it a successful business for decades. Profits from the operation have exceeded $ 1 billion in recent years.

While older viewers still watch traditional TV and make up the bulk of the news audience, businesses are aware that younger consumers get their video content online and plan accordingly.

Fox News Media has started a streaming business with its subscription service called Fox Nation, which launched in November 2018.

The monthly service offers no live news coverage, but offers programming with the Conservative Network’s most popular Fox News hosts – Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham – on demand the day after they air on cable. .

Fox Nation also live-streamed special events such as the Conservative Political Action Conference and recently added new original programs hosted by Carlson, Fox News’ top-rated personality.

Fox News did not disclose the number of subscribers or the income of Fox Nation. But the company is clearly a hedge against the erosion of the cable habit.

NBCUniversal has put several channels with news content on its Peacock streaming service, including The Choice, which uses the talents of its MSNBC cable news network. It also offers NBC News Now, a free live ad-supported news service. But the company has not announced plans for a direct-to-consumer version of MSNBC.


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