CNN+ eager to ink distribution deals with OTT, linear providers

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CNN is on the hunt for distribution deals for its new streamer.

CNN+ is scheduled to launch March 29, 2022, and offer a mix of live and on demand programming. It will be available within the CNN app, and WarnerMedia, the network’s owner, is reportedly working on deals with Apple and Roku to make the streamer available via those services, according to Bloomberg.

So far its only major distribution agreement is with Comcast Xfinity.

Amazon was notably not mentioned by WarnerMedia execs as a distribution partner. WarnerMedia also didn’t have a deal with Amazon when HBO Max first launched either.

CNN+ will be integrated with the Comcast Xfinity user interface, but subscribers will still have to pay a monthly fee, though they will presumably be eligible for the “deal of a lifetime” offering CNN is planning.

Many streamers have deals with cable, cellular phone providers and other partners to offer users a free subscription or free extended trial as a way to help boost subscriber counts, get exposure for the service and add value to other subscription-based services or loyalty programs.

WarnerMedia is also in the process of closing its merger with Discovery to become Warner Bros. Discovery. Eventually, the new company says it will merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming service. CNN+ was not mentioned as becoming part of that offering.