DirecTV Reportedly 'Warns' WBD About CNN Max: Breaking Contract?

DirecTV has reportedly warned Warner Bros. Discovery that a highly anticipated streaming version of CNN on WBD’s Max premium streaming service is in violation of its linear TV carriage contract.

This comes from a report in The New York Times.

“WBD maintains strong and meaningful relationships with our affiliate partners,” according to a Warner Bros. Discovery representative, who responded to an inquiry by Television News Daily. Our partners are aware of and understand our rationale with Max, which is to reach new audiences.” 

At press time, Television News Daily had received no response from representatives of DirecTV, a longtime major pay TV distributor.



For some time, tensions have been mounting among legacy pay TV providers and legacy TV network groups that are pressed to find new digital and streaming outlets for their channels.

In late August, analysts speculated that the proposed CNN Max streaming programming -- which started up a few days ago on WBD’s Max premium streaming service -- could be in conflict with legacy linear pay TV distributors, who have exclusivity for many channels on their service in the markets they serve.

The conflict comes as CNN Max's schedule includes popular live TV news shows that also run on the current CNN linear TV network. The list includes “Amanpour,” "Anderson Cooper 360," "The Lead with Jake Tapper" and "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

WBD has described the launch of CNN Max as an "open beta" test effort -- adding that while CNN Max has many of the same programs as CNN, it also has other "exclusive" content.

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