CNN International will disappear from some TV screens on 1st September 2021 as part of a drive to monetise its viewership through a subscription streaming service.
Freesat and Virgin Media viewers will lose access to the channel from the end of August. But Sky viewers will continue to receive CNN as part of their their subscription. As a result, the remaining CNN International service on satellite will be encrypted.
Access to CNN will also be discontinued for BT TV viewers still on an old TV package. The channel was never available on BT’s newer NOW (TV) based service.
It’s part of wider push to make audiences pay to watch CNN, which has been a free-to-air channel on satellite since its launch in Europe three decades ago. At the same time, some platform providers are understood to have been unwilling to pay more to carry the channel.
This means many viewers will now only be able to access CNN online. The live stream was originally free to watch, but in April this year it was confirmed that the live service would go behind a paywall.
CNN live stream cost
Full access to CNN online now costs £1.99 a month or £19.99 a year. Sign up here…
CNN International has been criticised in recent years for abandoning international news with hours of US partisan current affairs and debates. It remains to be seen how many viewers are interested in paying for US-centric debate, as opposed to more traditional world news bulletins.
The news comes a few weeks after an encryption flag was briefly transmitted on CNN via Astra 19.2E, heightening speculation that CNN’s European transmissions will also soon go behind the paywall. CNN via Eutelsat Hotbird is already pay TV only.
In 2022, CNN will launch CNN+, which will also include a wider range of on-demand and live programmes. Initially launching in the USA, the service will be expanded globally.
Meanwhile on the other side of the political divide, rival Fox News already offers UK viewers paid-for access to the channel online.