CNN+ Shuts Down 2 Days Earlier Than Expected (AP)
By Jay Clemons | Thursday, 28 April 2022 01:51 PM
The CNN+ experience will be fading to black sometime Thursday.
Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company to CNN, announced CNN+ would be scuttling its subscription service offering Thursday — two days earlier than the original shut-down date of April 30.
According to a Digital Trends, the company has already notified CNN+ subscribers about the streaming product ending Thursday, thus ensuring the service shuts down before the renewal date.
"CNN+ streaming will come to an end on April 28, 2022. If you purchased your subscription directly from us, we will be providing a full refund for your subscription fee back to your original CNN+ payment method by May 28, 2022," the company said in the email, citing the Digital Trends story.
Accounts will remain active after Thursday, but there will be no more content on the platform, according to CNN+.
CNN launched its streaming platform March 29, and invested approximately $300 million into the project, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Also, under AT&T, there were reports of $100 million in development costs and some 500 employees assigned to building out CNN+.
As part of this sizable commitment, CNN aggressively recruited high-profile talent for the new platform, such as former Fox News host Chris Wallace, noted American chef Alison Roman, and Hollywood actor Eva Longoria.
Other shows would be built around in-house CNN stars like Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, as well.
However, things got off to a rocky start. Around the launch opening, reports had the initial subscriber base at less than 100,000.
Plus, in a town hall with employees last week, CNN executives reportedly said the service's inability to show live breaking news had been a crucial failing.
Because of contracts with cable and satellite companies, CNN+ could not stream the CNN television network.
"It's a little bit like The New York Times subscription without The New York Times," said J.B. Perrette, head of Discovery's streaming services.
Unlike CNN+, which had been charging customers $5.99 a month, broadcast networks like NBC, CBS, and ABC offer free news-streaming services.
That led to Warner Bros. dropping CNN+ after just one month, instead of advancing on a product that had projected expenditures of $200 million to finish out the year.
Chris Licht, CEO of CNN Global, recently told the platform's employees they would receive pay and benefits for the next 90 days, according to a Deadline report. The employees would also be given the opportunity to apply for other jobs inside the company.
The head of CNN+, Andrew Morse, is reportedly leaving the company.