CNN Lays 'Pipeline' - Broadcasting & Cable

CNN Lays 'Pipeline'

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CNN on Sunday unveiled its new premium broadband video service, which will launch this fall under the name “CNN Pipeline,” and said it is looking into ways to deliver a similar application to cell phones and PDA’s by next year. 

In a presentation to the Television Critics’ Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, CNN News Group President Jim Walton said that while live CNN programming will not be available over the new service, users will have access to four other live video streams, as well as CNN video archives and on-demand news clips and packages.  Subscribers will need to download a video player to access the service.

Speaking to B&C after the presentation, Walton said they are exploring means by which to deliver the service to cell phones and PDA’s. “I can tell you that it won’t be a part of this rollout, but it's something we are looking at in early ’06,” he said. 

Walton also told B&C that beta testing will begin in two weeks, saying the new technology has been the biggest challenge to overcome. “We are writing code and it has never been done before,” he said.  “Anytime you are building a product that is code, there are no absolutes and to make all the things work the way we want them to is complicated and time-consuming, that is the single thing that could delay us.”

But speaking to the audience of TV critics, Walton was bullish on the product, saying his new service was “Playstation” compared to “some of what recently has been announced by our competitors,” which he referred to as “the video game PONG from many years ago.”

CNN says they have not agreed on a price point.

The video service will be commercial-free, although banner ads will appear on the site. 

In June, CNN made selected video segments free of charge on CNN.com, after previously only offering video via a premium subscription.

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