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CNN makes inevitable streaming push

Kerry Flynn
Aug 24, 2023
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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

CNN's breaking news programming will be incorporated into Warner Bros. Discovery's streaming service Max.

Why it matters: Adding CNN content will make the platform more valuable amid stiff competition from other streaming services and bring WBD's news content to cord-cutters.

Driving the news: WBD announced Thursday it will launch CNN Max, a 24/7 news service, on Sept. 27.

  • It will rebrand the CNN Originals hub on Max as CNN Max, which will include a 24/7 live stream, CNN Originals and other news programming.
  • Axios' Sara Fischer scooped the news earlier, reporting that because of CNN's contracts with cable providers, it cannot use the same feed it distributes in the U.S. and will instead feature parts of CNN International's North America feed and four hours of exclusive programming on weekdays.

State of play: As Fischer noted, CNN has been behind other major broadcast and cable news networks when it comes to offering a news streaming strategy.

  • NBC News launched NBC News NOW in 2019. MSNBC content streams on Peacock, Comcast's streaming service.
  • Fox News launched Fox Nation in 2018.
  • CBS launched CBSN in 2014.
  • ABC News launched ABC News Live in 2020, after earlier iterations.

💭 Kerry's thought bubble: A streaming strategy for CNN is necessary given today's audiences. One anecdote: Over the past month, I've received a flood of messages from friends and acquaintances congratulating me for my appearance in the documentary "Glitch: The Rise & Fall of HQ Trivia."

  • That documentary first aired in March. But that was on CNN. What changed? It debuted on Max last month.
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