With broadcast and cable TV slowly losing audiences to streaming services, we see more and more TV channels launch their own streaming component. The latest such announcement comes from Warner Media, which revealed in July 2021 its plans to launch CNN Plus.
The service (marketed as “CNN+”) is meant to expand the reach of the main CNN TV news network. However, it will come at an extra cost. Here’s everything we know so far about the new service.
What is CNN Plus?
According to CNN’s own story, the service will serve as a way for people who don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription to access programming from the cable news network. People who already watch CNN via cable or satellite will also get expanded news coverage via CNN Plus.
The service will have between 8 to 12 hours of live programming each day.
The service will have between 8 to 12 hours of live programming each day. It will also feature on-demand news specials, including some that will be exclusive to CNN Plus.
Finally, the service will have some interactive elements. People who watch content on the service will interact directly with its news anchors and commentators. Exactly how this will work has not been revealed.
When will the service launch?
CNN Plus is currently scheduled to launch sometime in the first quarter of 2022.
Where will CNN Plus be available to stream?
At the moment, the launch will be just for the US market. However, WarnerMedia could expand its reach to other countries sometime in the future.
What platforms and devices will support the service?
Right now, Warner Media has not confirmed any platforms that will support CNN Plus.
How much is CNN Plus?
At the moment, there’s no word on how much the service will cost. There’s also no word on if there will be both a monthly subscription and an annual payment option.
Will there be ads on the service?
Warner Media has confirmed there will not be any commercials or ads on CNN Plus.
Will there be a bundle deal with HBO Max and/or Discovery Plus?
According to a Variety interview with CNN’s chief digital officer Andrew Morse, there are no plans to bundle the service with HBO Max. However, that same article quotes unnamed sources as saying that once the planned merger of Warner Media and Discovery is completed, it’s possible the newly combined company could indeed offer a streaming bundle deal with HBO Max, Discovery Plus, and CNN Plus. A similar bundle with Disney’s Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Disney Plus has been highly successful.
What anchors and reporters will we see on CNN Plus?
So far, Warner Media has not revealed who we will be watching on the service. However, Morse is quoted as saying that subscribers can expect to see “some of CNN’s most prominent talent, as well as several new faces” on CNN Plus. The company plans to hire 450 people just for the service.
Will this be a copycat of CNN?
Warner Media claims that CNN Plus will not be a headline news service like CNN is. Instead, subscribers will be treated to stories about important topics that will have more depth than the brief headline news segments that are a part of CNN’s regular programming. Morse is also quoted as saying CNN Plus will be “very different from anything else that’s out in the marketplace.”
There are already many free online streaming news outlets from TV networks like ABC and CBS, but there are just a couple of services that offer paid subscriptions similar to what CNN Plus has planned.
Launched in 2018 by the Fox News Channel, Fox Nation offers live streaming news and talk shows, along with original on-demand documentaries and specials. It also offers commercial-free versions of Fox News’ major prime-time opinion shows the day after new episodes are shown on the main cable channel. The cost is $5.99 a month to sign up, $64.99 for a year or $99.99 for two years. All active US military personnel and veterans can get one year of the service for free.
UNCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service includes, among many other things, access to NBC News and MSNBC programming. That includes repeats of its major shows, along with exclusive programming as well. Peacock is available for free, but you can pay $9.99 a month to get rid of its ads.