Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max service is making a bigger push into news with a new 24/7 CNN stream that’s scheduled to debut on September 27th. It’s called CNN Max, and in a press release this morning, the company said the new service will “be part of an open beta for news that will enable experimentation with product features, content offerings, and original storytelling, all with the input and feedback from the Max community.”
CNN Max will be available across all of Max’s subscription tiers. But you shouldn’t confuse it with CNN’s linear cable network; this isn’t quite that. You’ll see many familiar faces; Max says CNN Max will feature some of CNN’s tentpole shows like Anderson Cooper 360°, The Lead with Jake Tapper, Amanpour, and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. These will all air live as they would on CNN proper. But CNN Max will also be comprised of “new programming built specifically for the Max streaming audience like CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta, Rahel Solomon, Amara Walker, and Fredricka Whitfield and CNN Newsroom with Jim Sciutto.”
Here’s how the company describes it:
This new 24/7 streaming service will bring the immediacy and value of global breaking news with top analysis, context, and reporting across all the biggest stories in the world to the Max streaming audience and enhance the product with the convenience of viewing news at anytime, anywhere, and on any screen.
“We’re excited to engage our Max community in this initial beta stage to help us learn and develop what appeals most to our customers in this new genre,” JB Perrette, Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO and president of global streaming and games, said in today’s press release. Streaming platforms including those from Google, Roku, and Amazon have sought to complement their entertainment library with news programming to keep customers engaged and regularly coming back.
Max customers will soon see the current CNN Originals hub get rebranded as CNN Max, and this is where they’ll be able to access CNN Max’s 24/7 stream in addition to watching on-demand content. Max says there are over 900 episodes of current and legacy programming, with plenty of less newsy shows like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s plan to bring CNN back into prominent focus on the Max platform comes 16 months after it pulled the plug on the news network’s short-lived subscription streaming service, CNN Plus. But CNN Plus focused on personality-driven shows instead of core news coverage, whereas it appears that CNN Max will stick to a more straightforward approach — even if it’s still not exactly a one-to-one match with linear cable CNN. “We have the broadest and highest quality entertainment offering, and now will include world-leading news as a meaningful addition for all Max subscribers, at no extra charge,” Perrette said.