CNN, HLN Now Available For Streaming Online… If You Are a Paying Cable Customer

By Alex Weprin Comment

CNN Worldwide has announced that it is making CNN/U.S. and HLN available for streaming on computers, iPads and smartphones… provided you are a paying cable customer.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has been one of the strongest advocates for the so-called “TV Everywhere” concept, which is attempting to let customers that pay for cable service to access those channels from whatever screen they wish. With entertainment programming, on-demand is the name of the game, but for news and information, live is a necessity.

The new service will let customers of AT&T, Comcast, Cox, DISH Network, Suddenlink and Verizon watch the networks on their computers through, as well as iPads and iPhones through the CNN app. If you are not a customer of those providers, you won’t be able to watch live, at least not until Time Warner strikes a deal with them. The current agreements cover 50 million households, which is just under half of the homes that CNN is available in. The network is negotiating with other cable and satellite providers to offer the service, though if history is any indication, there will always remain some holdouts.

Cablevision customers can already watch CNN live via the cable provider’s Optimum TV app, though that app is the source of litigation between the carrier and a number of channels.

Nonetheless, the move is a significant one, as neither MSNBC nor Fox News makes their full live networks available online. Whether those networks follow suit remains to be seen. Aside from CNN, only ESPN and HBO have been aggressive in making a large portion of their content available to authenticated subscribers.

More details in the announcement and CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton’s memo to staff, below.


Memo from Jim Walton:

July 18, 2011

To: CNN Colleagues

From:     Jim Walton


Today, CNN and HLN become the first news networks in America to stream their full 24-hour television channels on the Web and on Apps for iPhone and iPad to consumers of participating pay TV services.

CNN’s founding premise was that news should be accessible when people want it.  Every expansion of our business since 1980 has been an execution on that idea.  With today’s step, we will now deliver our networks live to people when they want it and where they want it, whether that is on a laptop or an iPad or any computer anywhere.

CNN and HLN web and mobile streaming is available immediately to approximately 50 million households subscribing to AT&T, Comcast, Cox, DISH Network, Suddenlink and Verizon.  As the industry continues to adapt to improvements in technology, we are hopeful that every subscriber receiving CNN and HLN at home soon will be able to obtain our networks’ live streaming on their digital devices, as well.

Also today, introduces a new video experience with higher-quality video and more robust navigation of on-demand clips as well as more prominent branding for our television shows.  These enhancements expand the reach, relevance and value of our news brands as well as our business.  And they represent innovation, teamwork and terrific execution by our digital, programming and technology colleagues across CNN and Turner Broadcasting. I’m excited to see us continue to define what CNN means to consumers as the marketplace evolves and grows  and I’m thankful to all who worked so hard on this initative.

The press release:

CNN is First to Stream 24-Hour News Network Online and On Mobile Unveils New Video Experience to Showcase Live CNN and HLN TV, On-Demand Video, Multi-tasking

CNN and HLN’s complete 24-hour television networks will be streamed live on, the CNN App for iPad and the CNN App for iPhone and iPod touch beginning today, July 18. CNN Worldwide is the first news organization to stream its linear television channels online and on mobile devices to consumers who subscribe to a multi-channel video service. Simultaneous to this launch, has debuted its new video experience, which seamlessly integrates live network TV into a larger and higher-quality video player, capable of delivering HD quality.

CNN and HLN online and mobile streaming is currently available to approximately 50 million households with subscribers to participating pay TV providers, including: AT&T, Comcast, Cox, DISH Network, Suddenlink and Verizon.

“A principal goal for CNN is to make more of our content available to more people on more platforms, and CNN’s participation in the TV Everywhere initiative is another step forward in that effort,” said Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide. “We have long believed that our growth depends on keeping CNN essential and relevant to consumers wherever they arTo access CNN and HLN online, users can go to, click on the “Live” tab and log-in through their cable, satellite or telco provider with a username and password.

For mobile devices, a user can download the CNN App for iPad or the CNN App for iPhone and iPod touch (or update their app to version 1.2 for iPhone, 1.1 for iPad), and authenticate in the same way.

“CNN is taking a significant step forward by offering live CNN and HLN TV to our audiences whether they are on their couches at home or have their toes in the sand on the beach,” said KC Estenson, general manager of CNN Digital. “The 10 million users who have downloaded CNN’s mobile apps and the tens of millions of people who get the latest news and information from every day will soon be able to watch CNN TV on every device they have.” video experience’s new video experience offers a cinematic player that optimizes the video quality for a user based on their Internet connection, with the capability of delivering HD quality. Video can be “squeezed back” to allow a user to browse through curated CNN video collections and TV show clips without leaving the video experience.

In addition to the live streams of CNN’s networks, the video experience will continue to offer up to four live streams of breaking news and events, original video series and on-demand video clips with related CNN and HLN show information.

The CNN App for iPad and CNN App for iPhone and iPod touch are available for free from the App Store or at

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.