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CNN Preps Subscription Broadband Video Service

Beverly Hills, Calif.— In an effort to provide audiences with greater access to news resources, Cable News Network will launch a subscription broadband service that will offer multiple live news streams and archived video programming.

In addition, the network in August will launch a weekday show that will provide viewers with a unique view of the day's news and events.

CNN's new “Pipeline” broadband product, slated to bow sometime this fall, is a fully operational interactive page that features four continuous, live video feeds, each showcasing content from current stories the organization is following.

“The Atlanta editors will determine what we feel are the four most significant streams at any given time,” CNN News Group president Jim Walton said at Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s presentation at the Television Critics Association tour here on July 17. “The viewer can cut between them to go searching for whichever live one [he wants].”

CNN has yet to price the monthly subscription service, which will also offer access to hundreds of archived stories and video. The service will complement the network's free video-on-demand service, which launched last month.

In a TV variation of Pipeline, CNN on Aug. 8 will bow “The Situation Room,” a weekday-afternoon block that will present the news through various reporting techniques.

Modeled after the White House situation room, the Wolf Blitzer-led effort — to run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. — will combine traditional reporting methods with the newest innovative online resources such as blogs, information from Web sites and podcasts, said network executives.

“'The Situation Room' is an expression of CNN's massive newsgathering capabilities put over the television platform,” said CNN/US president Jon Klein. “Pipeline is an expression of what CNN does in the form of news gathering and an expression that's placed on a different platform.”

Also at TCA, Turner Network Television talked up original drama The Closer and its second-season renewal. Officials noted that the June 13 premiere of the series, starring Kyra Sedgwick, garnered a 5.9 household rating, the highest series premiere rating in cable history.

The network also announced it will bow in 2006, Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From The Stories of Stephen King, a limited series based on the fright master's book of short stories.