Major Changes Coming To CBSN Free News Channel

CBSN, the free news streaming option from CBS will be changing up its look and content with a major investment in the service. The news option, which has been streaming since 2014 has relied primarily on 24-hour news styled content with anchors delivering a recap of the day’s news while also breaking away to show coverage of live-breaking events. The updates will bring more original programming to the network as well as build a primetime presence that will make the service more along the lines of cable news channels and other free streaming options like News Max.

The service is now called CBS News Streaming Network, which really is a better description of the service overall. But the rebranding is not just about a new name. Its new studio is a brighter more substantial look to replace the dark pop-up feel of its previous iteration. CBSN always kind of felt like they were just breaking in during the middle of the night with whoever could be available at short notice. The studio-style had been around since CBS first started airing news after regular programming had stopped on its normal broadcast station. The service would air until either infomercials launched or the network’s early morning programming launched. When it launched CBSN the company kept the same look as a streaming option. In general the new look better meshes with the branding seen on the CBS Sports HQ service, which is linked in the app.

“We’re unlocking the power of CBS News — streaming the best of our reporting and storytelling on television to viewers everywhere,” Khemlani said. “From up-to-the-minute reporting from our new live news desk, signature interviews by Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, adventures on CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes, true crime on 48 Hours–and reporting out of Washington to Ukraine to Beijing — we’re delivering a 24/7 experience with quality journalism from the best news brands in the business.”

In a statement to Broadcast and Cable Wendy McMahon co-head of CBS News and Stations along with Neeraj Khemlani  said the changes allowed the company “to position ourselves for the business of tomorrow.” That tomorrow is a world where fewer people get news and entertainment from cable and even broadcast networks as they transition to streaming options instead. It’s not as though the company has not had its eye on this space for some time. As stated earlier, CBSN has been streaming since 2014 and has had billions of hours of views. CBS was also the first major network to launch a streaming option that linked both original streaming content like its Star Trek Series “Star Trek Discovery” with access to live local affiliates. The company later launched CBS Sports HQ to give cord-cutters a free streaming equivalent to ESPN News and through its merger with Viacom, acquired Pluto TV, a market-defining app in the FAST (Free ad-supported Streaming) world. The new company quickly appointed Pluto CEO head of Global Streaming. This is likely just the latest in a number of steps the company will be making across its streaming brands which also include Paramount+.