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No one wants CNN Plus, so it will shut down (Update: Shutdown even earlier)
- The CNN Plus streaming service will shut down operations on April 28, 2022.
- The shutdown date is two days sooner than originally announced.
- The decision to close up shop came less than a month after the service launched on March 29.
- The service reportedly had less than 10,000 subscribers during its launch period.
Updated, April 27, 2022 (05:12 PM ET): CNN Plus will be shutting down two days earlier than originally announced, on April 28, 2022.
CNN Plus was the cable news network’s high-stakes attempt at a streaming service. Ultimately, it failed to gain much traction and was slated to shut down just one month after launch. According to a CNN Help Center webpage, however, the shutdown date has been moved from April 30 to April 28, with active customers receiving a full refund.
Warner Bros. Discovery will shut down operations of CNN Plus on April 30, 2022. The service launched less than a month ago on March 29. By contrast, Quibi, the bite-sized video service that had raised over $1 billion from investors, launched in April 2020 but shut down operations in December 2020.
The official announcement of the shutdown came on the CNN website. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to launch the extension of the CNN cable news network, with original shows and specials. It also had the support of lots of CNN’s most well-known news anchors and even got Fox News’ Chris Wallace to jump ship to host a new exclusive interview show for the service. However, it appears no one wanted to watch this content. CNBC reported last week that only 10,000 daily users were accessing CNN Plus in the first two weeks at an intro price of $2.99 each month.
The CNN Plus shutdown decision comes just a few weeks after WarnerMedia broke off from AT&T to merge with Discovery, to form the new Warner Bros. Discovery. CNBC reports that some programming on CNN Plus will find its way to a new streaming bundle that might combine content from HBO Max and Discovery Plus.
As a result of the shutdown, Andrew Morse — the head of CNN Plus — is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery. There’s no word on what will happen to the hundreds of other CNN Plus employees.