Cable giant CNN has confirmed it will be launching a news and entertainment streaming service, CNN+ in the spring, seemingly sidetracking Discovery’s imminent takeover.
Following the lead of other media giants, CNN will launch with a promotional price of $2.99 a month, which will then be hiked to $5.99, the same price as Fox Nation, Fox News’ streaming equivalent.
CNN+ will feature live daily news programming, original series, true crime shows and food and travel, CNN said.
According to reports from the Financial Times, CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia has raced to launch the streaming platform and placed a wager of about $350m on the news channel’s digital future that was not originally disclosed to its incoming owner.
Jason Kilar, chief executive Warner, pushed forward plans for the platform despite knowing he would most likely be leaving the company when the $43bn deal closes, two people familiar with the matter told the paper.
This makes the future of the launch up in the air, with some sources questioning what interest Discovery will have in driving forward the initiative.
The network was also under the spotlight last month when chief Jeff Zucker was forced to leave after failing to disclose a romantic relationship with a colleague.
Warner announced that Chris Licht, executive producer of CBS’s Colbert Show, was set to replace Zucker after Discovery completes its takeover.