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CNN+ reportedly draws fewer than 10,000 daily viewers

The embattled CNN cable network looks to have another situation on its hands: the underwhelming launch of its new streaming service, CNN+. The service’s total number of daily viewers has yet to surpass 10,000, according to reports — fueling speculation that the network’s new parent company — Discovery WarnerMedia — could be pushed into slashing costs even as CNN+ tries to get off the ground. The latest black eye for the left-leaning network comes after a tumultuous year when its chief, Jeff Zucker, stepped down after admitting to a consensual relationship with Allison Gollust, his former lieutenant at the company. It also comes after star anchor Chris Cuomo was fired for his involvement advising his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as he faced a sexual harassment scandal as governor of New York. The fledgling streaming network has pushed for big names to draw people to the service, including the hiring of former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. CNN+ first started streaming content on March 29, though there were some technical hiccups. The $5.99-per-month subscription service wasn’t available on Roku until Monday, and it remains offline for those with Android TV. The miniscule audience, which was first reported by CNBC, does not bode well for the channel’s future, particularly after the network poured in an estimated $250 million to launch and market the service. By contrast, CNN’s cable channel brings an average of 773,000 daily viewers, which is well behind pack leader Fox News Channel and second-place MSNBC. Executives are likely make cuts at CNN+, according to Axios. The network planned to invest $1 billion in the streaming service over the next four years, but that seems less likely given the service’s paltry numbers so far. The paltry viewership is a far cry from initial projections provided to network executives. The network expected that CNN+ would net some 2 million subscribers in the US during the first year of operation. By year four, the service was projected to count between 15 million and 18 million subscribers. CNN+ was promoted with a marketing blitz touting the acquisitions of erstwhile stars from rival networks, including Chris Wallace, Kasey Hunt, Alison Roman, and Stanley Tucci. The fate of CNN+ likely rests in the hands of David Zaslav, the CEO and president of Warner Bros. Discovery.

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