Though it hasn’t been determined what will be pulled and if any of the news networks documentaries or series will remain on HBO Max, the popular foodie tour shows “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” are expected to be two titles that will taken away, so CNN will have material ready when it launches, according to Bloomberg.
CNN and HBO Max share a parent company in WarnerMedia, which its parent company AT&T is looking to possibly merge with Discovery soon, though Congress has already issued warning shots about the deal.
HBO Max has served as the streaming home for all the titles in WarnerMedia’s library, from the children’s series made for Cartoon Network to the classic films found on TCM (short for Turner Classic Movies.)
Titles such as the CNN documentary series “United Shades of America," starring the comedian W. Kamau Bell and the Conan O’Brien starring “Conan Without Borders,” have been available to stream on HBO Max, but CNN now wants everything under its own roof.
That means it will likely no longer produce shows for any streaming platform other than its own moving forward, Gizmodo reports.
Ready To Launch
CNN+ is slated to launch in March with a $5.99 a month streaming offering. The network has recently been on a hiring spree, bringing former NBC News correspondent Kasie Hunt and former Fox News journalist Chris Wallace over to the network, and it has also reportedly struck a deal with the actress Eva Longoria.
WarnerMedia executives are considering whether to offer CNN+ and HBO Max together at a discounted price.
While details are still under wraps, Bloomberg reports that CNN+ will have a travel show similar to Stanley Tucci’s popular series in which he eats a lot of pasta and has a grand time doing it, titled "Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico,"and the network is also developing a developing panel shows similar Fox News’ “The Five.”
The network has recently been under fire for its handling of high profile anchor Chris Cuomo, who was fired by the network in November amidst an investigation into him gathering information about sexual harassment accusations against his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Who Asked For This?
The launch of CNN+ is being seen as a way for the network to compete with Fox’s pay service Fox Nation, which is available for $5.99. But it’s a crowded streaming marketplace, with HBO Max, NBC’s Peacock (CCZ) - Get Comcast Corp. Report, ViacomCBS’s (VIACA) - Get ViacomCBS Inc. Class A Report+, Apple TV+ (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report and Disney+ (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report all launching within the past years alone.
Despite that, Netflix (NFLX) - Get Netflix, Inc. Report continues to dominate, with 20% of the market share last year.
It’s unclear how much demand exists for a paid CNN service, as the network, which doesn’t overtly align itself with any particular political ideology, continually loses in the ratings to the right-wing Fox News and the more liberal leaning MSNBC.
Tom Jones, a senior media writer for Poynter, said this week that in a world in which people, especially news viewers, like to espouse their values via their consumer choices, a more neutral platform like CNN+ might struggle to find a footing.
“I have my doubts about audiences paying for streaming news," he wrote.