Warner Bros. Discovery is reportedly bringing live content from CNN to its rebranded streaming service, Max, in the coming year. It appears to be a move toward more news-related content, sources close to the matter told Bloomberg.
If the company moves ahead to add CNN’s live broadcasts to Max, it may have to navigate the legality of moving live content away from TV stations. Cable and satellite companies typically require an outlet to provide first access to all live broadcasts. Sources told Bloomberg that CNN is already moving forward with distributing live content outside the U.S., but executives are looking into different ways to offer it on Max within the U.S.
Gizmodo could not independently verify this information and Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The alleged addition comes less than a year after the company tried to roll out CNN+, a stand-alone streaming service containing no live content. The project launched by CNN’s former President Jeff Zucker in March of last year brought news segments featuring anchors like former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, NPR’s Audie Cornish, news anchor Jake Tapper, and others, in what became an unsuccessful attempt to branch into the streaming medium.
The project didn’t last long and was scrapped only weeks after it was started by incoming (now ousted) President Chris Licht. “While today’s decision is incredibly difficult, it is the right one for the long-term success of CNN,” Licht told staff in April 2022, according to The New York Times.
Yet, by taking the option of streaming off the table, CNN may have hindered its access to cord-cutting Americans. A 2022 Pew Research Center survey found 50% of 18 to 29-year-olds are likely to trust the news they receive on social media and 56% reported they trust the online information almost or as much as major news outlets.
In February of this year, AdWeek reported that CNN only brought in 474,000 daily viewers last year, compared to Fox News which brought in 1.44 million daily viewers.
The report revealed that CNN is struggling to reel in adults ages 25 to 54 years old, but there is the possibility that all could change if the news outlet can close the deal with Warner Bros. to bring live content to Max.