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CNN+ Confirms Official Launch Date, Price, Deal Ahead of Merger Vote

Matt Tamanini

Ahead of the vote scheduled for Friday, March 11, in which Discovery shareholders will vote to ratify a merger with WarnerMedia, the latter’s cable news network announced the official rollout details for their streaming service CNN+. After word started coming out about the launch earlier this month, CNN confirmed that the new service will be available to consumers on March 29.

The new streamer will be available for $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year, but for subscribers who sign up during the first month directly through CNN+, they will have access to the “Deal of a Lifetime.” This will allow them to subscribe for 50% off of the monthly plan in perpetuity for as long as they remain active subscribers. What the wording of the press release does not make clear is if that is 50% off of the current $5.99 price for life, or 50% off of whatever the specific price is during any given month in the future.

For example, are the early adopters locked into a $3/month rate for life, or if the monthly rate increases to $8 at some point in the future, will they then have to pay $4/month? Based on how vaguely worded the announcement is, I would assume the latter.

“March 29 will be an important Day in the history of CNN and CNN+ will be a critical part of our future,” said CNN Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, and head of CNN+ Andrew Morse. “I am so proud of the work our teams have done to ensure our world class journalism and storytelling comes to life on this new platform. We can’t wait for our subscribers to experience it.”

CNN+ is aiming to lure viewers to service with a mix of some of the cabler’s most popular personalities and a host of high-profile additions. Joining the likes of CNN stalwarts Wolf Blitzer, Don Lemon, Brian Stelter, Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpou, Jake Tapper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and more will be former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, former MSNBC star Kasie Hunt, former NPR anchor Audie Cornish, former NBA player and social media star Rex Chapman, former ESPN anchors Jemele Hill and Cari Champion, actress Eva Longoria, and more.

Another addition that CNN is hoping will draw subscribers is the fact that once current streaming agreements with other platforms — including HBO Max and Netflix — expire, all of CNN’s films and original specials will return home to CNN+. This includes all of the content that the late Anthony Bourdain created for the network, including “Parts Unknown.”

Just a day before this information was released, CNN cable rival MSNBC announced that they would be making many of their most popular shows available on NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock.

CNN+

CNN+ is a subscription streaming service that includes 12 hours of live news and on-demand access to shows like “Parental Guidance with Anderson Cooper,” “5 Things with Kate Bolduan,” “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.” The service features journalists like Chris Wallace and Audie Cornish.

Subscribers in the first four weeks of launch get 50% off the monthly plan for life as long as they remain subscribers.