CNN Is Free To Watch In The UK Again, Via Rakuten TV

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Months after CNN International was removed from Freesat, Virgin Media and BT, it is now more widely available to watch for free in the UK, via Rakuten TV’s streaming platform.

The live CNN feed has been a part of Rakuten TV’s free channels for about a year, but the platform was only available on a few specific devices, such as Samsung and LG Smart TVs.

Recently, however, Rakuten TV’s free “Channels” section was added to Roku streaming devices, Rakuten’s iOS and Android apps, as well as Rakuten TV’s website.

Some devices, such as the Amazon Fire TV sticks, are still missing (Rakuten TV’s app isn’t available on them at all, for now) – though we’re waiting to hear from Rakuten whether new devices are expected in the near future.

CNN on Rakuten Channels
Rakuten TV on Roku

CNN was founded by Ted Turner in 1980, as a 24/7 news network, and is still one of the most popular news networks in the US. Globally, CNN operates via CNN International, with various international editions available worldwide.

In the UK, CNN used to be available for free on Freesat, the free-to-air service that requires a satellite dish and a Freesat receiver/recorder.

In 2021, however, CNN was removed from Freesat, and from most of the pay-TV platforms (Virgin Media and BT TV).

The CNN channel did remain on Sky, but only on Sky Q and older devices, and NOT on the newer streaming TV, Sky Glass.

Following the removal, CNN was only available to watch with a paid subscription on CNN’s own website, on Sky, and on a few Smart TV models.

CNN on phone
(Photo: Deposit Photos / Fellowneko)

CNN On Rakuten TV

Rakuten TV is a video-on-demand platform that offers both paid and free (with adverts) content on a range of streaming devices. 

The streaming channels section includes “live” channels on a variety of topics – from films and TV shows, to sports and news – including CNN International.

Since its launch, however, Rakuten TV’s on-demand content was widely available, but its free “live” streaming channels were only available on a handful of devices.

Rakuten TV
(Photo: Deposit Photos – mobilinchen)

Recently, and rather quietly (there were no formal announcements from Rakuten so far), the live channels were added to the app on additional devices, and to Rakuten TV’s website.

So, you can now watch CNN on your TV – if you have a Roku streaming device, on your smartphone – when you install Rakuten TV’s app, and on any browser, on Rakuten TV’s website.

The list of devices where you can find Rakuten TV and CNN includes:

  • Samsung Smart TVs from 2013 onwards
  • LG Smart TVs from 2013 onwards
  • Philips Smart TVs from 2019
  • Hisense Smart TVs
  • Panasonic Smart TVs from 2015 onwards
  • Sony Android TV 2014-2018
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Pc and Mac computers
  • Roku streaming devices

As always with “live” streamed channels, keep in mind that if you watch any of them – you also need a TV Licence.

CNN on Rakuten TV

Some of the other live channels included on Rakuten TV’s free channels platform, include:

  • PeopleTV
  • The Pet Collective
  • Top Movies
  • The Tennis Channel
  • World Poker Tour
  • Motorvision TV
  • Fashion TV
  • Tastemade
  • Euronews
  • Reuters

… And many others.

For more ways to watch CNN in the UK, see our guide.

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