The rumors of a CNN streaming service were true. The network has svilatu a CNN + service that will offer a mix of live and on-demand shows that are “separate and distinct” from existing TV coverage. It will debut sometime in the first quarter of 2022. CNN hasn’t lowered the price, but Andrew Morse, executive director, said Variety in a interview that there would be no advertising level at launch.
The centerpiece, as you’d expect, will be live material. CNN + plans to offer eight to 12 hours of in-depth themed coverage and “life” material each day, with veterans and beginners at the helm. You will also have the opportunity to interact with anchors and experts in real-time discussions. This won’t be a digital replica of CNN’s usual news, then, but you may have reasons to tune in every day.
The on-demand catalog comes as no surprise to CNN’s existing collection, including shows like this Anthony Bourdain: Party Unknown and United Shades of America. There will be original shows and movies for the internet service, though CNN + won’t reveal those later in 2021.
Officially, Morse said CNN + would not be bundled or otherwise linked into HBO Max despite the WarnerMedia connection. Variety sources, however, said there was a “strong likelihood” that the service would be added with HBO Max and Discovery + after WarnerMedia and Discovery finalized their merger.
Morse considered CNN + the largest launch the network has had since it began TV service in June 1980. It was also an opportunity to experiment with formats that blur distinctions between entertainment and news, the executive added. .
The question, of course, is whether viewers will bite or not. CNN has been successful with long-form content like the late Anthony Bourdain shows, but it’s unclear if people are willing to pay a monthly fee to watch them. There’s also the issue of streaming service overhead – maybe you’re not happy to subscribe to another offer just to be sure to take in everything CNN has to offer.
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