Global news network CNN is still one of the most trusted sources for news around the world. Therefore, a lot of viewers in the UK want to know how to watch CNN live, preferably on their big-screen TV.
Unfortunately, ever since CNN’s removal from Freesat, Virgin Media and BT TV in 2021, it has become harder to watch CNN live in the UK – but there are still a few ways.
In this guide, we’ll cover all the options UK viewers currently have to watch CNN live: From a Sky subscription, to free watching on certain models of TVs and devices, as well as CNN’s own subscription-based live edition.
CNN was founded in 1980 by Ted Turner, as a 24/7 news network. It’s one of the most popular news networks in the US, at a time when news networks are losing viewership.
Globally, CNN operates via CNN International, with various international editions available worldwide, with viewers in more than 200 countries, often as part of premium pay-TV packages.
In the UK, CNN used to be available for free on Freesat, a free-to-air service that only requires a satellite dish, and a Freesat receiver/recorder.
However, in 2021, CNN started changing its focus towards subscription-based distribution, and the CNN channel was removed from Freesat (as well as from two pay-TV platforms – Virgin Media and BT TV).
Watching CNN Live In The UK
If you want to watch CNN live on your TV in the UK, there are a few options at the moment. Strangely, CNN’s own subscription-based service, only works on computer browsers and smartphones, and doesn’t have a TV app for now.
Here are the main options that currently exist in the UK to watch CNN:
1. CNN on Sky
Sky is the only pay-TV platform that still carries CNN in the UK, and you can watch it live if you’re subscribed to Sky (check Sky offers here).
CNN is available in HD, on Sky channel 506.
However, it’s important to note that CNN is only available on Sky Q and a few of the older devices – CNN is NOT currently available on Sky Glass, the new streaming TV from Sky.
2. CNN On Roku / Phones / PCs via Rakuten TV
Rakuten TV’s free streaming platform offers a selection of live channels – including CNN.
Until recently, the platform was only available on a few specific TV models (such as LG Smart TVs), but the free channels section was then added to Rakuten TV on more devices.
Therefore, this is now the most widely available way to watch CNN for free in the UK, and is currently available on:
- Rakuten TV’s Website
- Roku streaming devices
- Pc and Mac computers
- 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
3. CNN On Samsung TVs And Phones
Samsung’s free (with adverts) live TV service, Samsung TV Plus, includes more than 90 live channels – including CNN.
Samsung TV Plus is currently available on Samsung TV models from 2016 onwards, as an app that usually comes pre-installed on the supported TVs.
Samsung TV Plus is also available on Samsung’s mobile phones from the Galaxy series, so you can watch CNN through that as well.
When you run the app on your Galaxy phone, you’ll get a “TV Guide” that lists the available channels, including CNN, with the show that’s currently airing.
4. CNN Live Subscription (Browsers Only)
In June 2021, CNN introduced a streaming-based live subscription service in the UK with a live stream of CNN’s broadcast.
The service is ad-free, and costs £1.99/month or £19.90/year.
If you’re not subscribed, you can watch the live broadcast as a “Preview”, for free – for up to 10 minutes each day.
Unfortunately, the only direct way to watch the CNN Live subscription is via a browser, either on your desktop/laptop or on a mobile phone.
We approached CNN to ask whether such apps are planned for the future, but they had no information to add at this point.
Last year, CNN also announced “CNN+”, a ‘complementary’ streaming-only service that’s different from CNN Live.
CNN+ runs alongside the ‘traditional’ CNN, with additional content and exclusive programmes – but is only be available in the US, at least at this point, for $5.99/month.
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