CNN Max will be free for all Max subscribers and will launch Sept. 27. Max subscriptions range from $9.99 a month with ads to $19.99 with no ads, download options and four concurrent streams.
The news service will offer separate content from what is seen on the cable network, which is now lagging behind its most direct rivals MSNBC and Fox News in ratings.
Anchors that will be on the new streaming service include Jim Acosta, Rahel Solomon, Amara Walker, Jim Sciutto and Atlanta-based Fredricka Whitfield. Sciutto will lead breaking news coverage in the afternoons.
“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,” said JB Perrette, CEO and President of Global Streaming and Gaming, in a statement.
What is dubbed the CNN Originals hub on Max will be renamed CNN Max. Max already holds about 900 on-demand episodes of existing programs, including “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” “The Whole Story With Anderson Cooper,” “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.”
“They have to establish a digital beachhead,” said Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington correspondent and bureau chief who is now director of strategic initiatives at George Washington University. “I don’t know what the business model is if they aren’t up charging, but I’m glad they’re doing it.”
Other streaming services have been airing live news options for years.
NBC News Now has been around for four years and is available on Peacock and 20 other streaming platforms including Xumo, Pluto, Apple TV and Roku with 11 hours of live original hours per day.
ABC has offered several hours a day of live news via ABC News Live on ABC’s website and Hulu since 2018 as well as other locales such as Roku, Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Pluto TV, Xumo, FuboTV, and Samsung TV Plus.
Paramount+ provides plenty of live CBS news and CBSNews.com.
Fox has LiveNOW, which is available on Tubi, Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Roku and Google Android TV, among others.
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution including TV, radio, film, comedy and all things in between. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years. He loves tennis, pop culture & seeing live events.