Report: CNN Could Launch a Streaming Service ‘Within the Next Two Years’

By A.J. Katz Comment

CNN may be the next major news outlet to launch a streaming news service.

CNN worldwide president (aka. WarnerMedia chairman of news and sports) Jeff Zucker told LA Times’ media writer Steve Battaglio that CNN could debut a streaming news service of its own “within the next two years.”

This would make CNN the next news and entertainment television outlet to address the cord-cutting phenomenon.

CNN possesses the youngest average audience of the big three cable newsers. That in itself is one reason why launching a streaming news service makes sense.

The network has posted more significant year-over-year audience declines than its main competition, however, despite losses in linear viewership, the CNN business seems to be thriving.

Battaglio writes:

About 70% of the network’s revenues come from carriage fees from cable and satellite operators, which continue to grow even as more consumers cut the cord. S&P Global Intelligence said CNN took in $974 million for its flagship channel in 2018, up nearly 7% from the previous year.

Additionally, CNN’s digital news content and its international outlets have helped propelled the network’s annual profits past the $1 billion mark.

In addition to the live news, a streaming service would be tailor made for CNN’s acclaimed original series and films, content which has proven quite profitable for the company.

It remains to be seen how/if a potential CNN OTT service would fit into a larger WarnerMedia OTT service.

CNN’s parent company mentioned a yet-to-be-named streaming service at its upfront presentation to advertisers earlier this month. According to Adweek’s Kelsey Sutton, the company disclosed that its service would launch in beta by the end of 2019, yet mentioned little else about it.

Turner Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly said the service would include both an ad-supported and subscription-only options.

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