At least one of the big companies that distribute CNN via cable or satellite is unnerved by how closely the company’s new live-streaming service looks like its TV network.
Big satellite distributor DirecTV has let executives at Warner Bros. Discovery know via letter that its executives believe the similarities between the two products violate the carriage contract between the two companies, according to a person familiar with the matter. The new CNN streaming service, CNN Max, just launched last week and includes many of programs that run on linear CNN, including “CNN This Morning,” “The Lead With Jake Tapper” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”
The New York Times previously reported the contretemps between DirecTV and Warner Bros. Discovery.
“WBD maintains strong and meaningful relationships with our affiliate partners. Our partners are aware of and understand our rationale with Max, which is to reach new audiences,” Warner Bros. Discovery said in a statement. A spokesperson for DirecTV did not respond immediately to queries seeking comment.
Warner Bros. Discovery has indicated it feels that CNN Max reaches a wholly different audience than its cable counterpart. A Max user may be, on average, 30 years younger than the typical CNN viewer, JB Perrette, Warner’s executive overseeing streaming, told Variety in August. “We believe this is additive, and reaches an audience that the current pay-TV marketplace does not reach.”
The weekday schedule of CNN Max features several new hours led by anchors such as Jim Acosta, Fredricka Whitfield, Rahel Solomon and Jim Scuitto. But a significant chunk of the service is built on CNN’s linear morning, late-afternoon and primetime schedule. When all is said and done, Max viewers will be able to see everything from Kasie Hunt’s “Early Start” and “CNN This Morning” to the usual evening lineup of Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Kaitlan Collins, Abby Phillip and Laura Coates.
More to come…
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