WarnerMedia will launch its big CNN direct-to-consumer play, CNN Plus, on Tuesday, but it will likely do it without app support on the biggest connected TV platform, Roku.
CNN reps confirmed to Next TV that they still don't have a deal to put the CNN Plus app on Roku, less than 24 hours before launch time. But the app-support issue is even worse than that for CNN Plus, with the service also shut out of both Google connected TV platforms, Google TV and Android TV, WarnerMedia confirmed.
The leading proprietary smart TV OS platforms, Samsung and LG are also no-go, as are leading video game consoles Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox?
CNN reps said they're working to resolve all of these distribution hangups.
The company announced late Monday that the service would be playable on "desktop and across a range of supported smartphones, tablets and streaming devices, including Amazon Fire TV, Android phones and tablets and Apple devices (via the App Store on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD)."
The inability to access CNN Plus on Roku, in particular Day 1 would be an unfortunate growth-stunter for WarnerMedia, which is all too familiar with how lack of app support can curtail launch plans.
Nearly two years ago, WarnerMedia launched HBO Max not only into the teeth of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but also without support on the No. 2 CTV platform, Amazon Fire TV.
Lack of support on Roku, however, has even graver consequences. With more than 60 million active accounts worldwide, Roku has a dominant market share of CTV homes in the U.S.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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