What Channel Is CNN on DirecTV? (2024 Update)

CNN logo.

What Channel Is CNN on DirecTV? (2024 Update)

CNN offers an array of daytime and evening news as well as an impressive slate of award-winning documentary films and series. As one of the biggest names in cable news, its reputation certainly precedes it. Given its massive status in the news industry and its instantly recognizable name, you surely know of its existence by now. But do you know what channel it’s on? It might take you a while to find it when simply flipping through the channels with your DirecTV remote. Here’s how to tune your TV directly to CNN.

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Best for Families
From $4.99.mo.

Pick your choice of ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney Plus. Plans start as low as $4.99/month for ESPN+ only.

Best Overall
From $64.99/mo.

Free trial available. Watch 75+ channels, including local channels and special premium channel offers.

Best Budget Option

Take a 7-day free trial and stream more than 70 channels live. Record your favorites with unlimited DVR.

CNN Channel Guide

Channel NameDirecTV Channel Number
CNN en Español419
CNN International358

The History of CNN

CNN is short for “Cable News Network”. Founded by Ted Turner (of Turner Broadcasting) in 1980, the iconic television news network was a first for cable. Prior to its founding, news networks stuck strictly to broadcast television. CNN broke remarkable new ground when it established a 24-hour news network that aired on cable instead. This kicked off a new wave of cable news that now includes CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and more. More than 40 years later, CNN is still going strong — even with the cable television landscape in the midst of a major transformation.

One of CNN’s first major displays of power was during the Gulf War in the early 1990s. The network’s first-hand coverage live from Baghdad showed viewers the kind of promise that cable news had. Few had ever been able to show the front lines of a war in real-time before. Throughout the remainder of the ‘90s and into the 21st century, CNN remained a key source of unprecedented live coverage of the world’s most urgent news bulletins. Its morning and evening talk shows further enticed viewers, offering compelling commentary and expert opinions not found on broadcast news.

CNN’s slogan claims the station is “The Most Trusted Name in News.” While it’s hard to quantify such a claim, the slogan is a reflection of CNN’s commitment to reporting reliable, factual information without slant. Though some partisan voices would argue CNN skews in favor of one political party over another, the station remains the go-to news source for millions of viewers across television and streaming alike. Its global presence is unrivaled by any other cable news network on air today.

CNN Sister Stations

Discovery Channel
Animal Planet
Investigation Discovery
Food Network
Cooking Channel
Cartoon Network

CNN Programming

Still from The Situation Room on CNN.

The Situation Room

is one of CNN’s most popular evening broadcasts.

Tune to CNN on any given day, and you’re probably going to find one of three programming types: daytime news, evening news, or a documentary. From day to day, these programming types remain a consistent part of CNN’s lineup. Breaking news or other special events like debates or elections may interrupt this schedule, but by and large, this is what you can expect to see when you key channel 202 into your DirecTV guide. Let’s delve into these programming types below.

Daytime News

CNN’s daytime programming offers a variety of more lighthearted news programs than its evening programs. These shows still give up-to-the-minute news updates on current events, of course. However, the look and the feel of the shows are decidedly more sunny, for lack of a better word. (No pun intended, either.)

CNN News Central is one such example, offering live coverage and analysis of the day’s events as they happen. CNN This Morning is another example, serving as the channel’s morning news show. It covers top stories from the day before and the day ahead while keeping things lighthearted, with friendly interviews and human interest stories.

Evening News

Later in the day, there’s CNN’s evening news programming. This is when the network shifts away from its daytime offerings and embraces a more in-depth focus on the biggest news bulletins of the moment. The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett OutFront, and Anderson Cooper 360 are three notable examples, but the primetime lineup extends far beyond these three.

Other examples of CNN evening programming include The Lead with Jake Tapper and The Source with Kaitlan Collins. As you might have ascertained from the shows’ titles, they typically feature one on-air personality and a rotating roster of special guest commentators. From Blitzer to Cooper, Tapper to Collins, the hosts and their guests offer multiple perspectives on the latest hot topics.


Looking beyond daytime and evening news programs, CNN also has a library of fascinating documentary films and series. There always seems to be a new documentary program currently airing or preparing to air on the station. Many of these documentaries win the year’s biggest awards — whether it be an Emmy for a show or even an Oscar for a film.

Popular CNN documentary films include Little Richard: I Am Everything (2023), Three Identical Strangers (2018), and Blackfish (2013). Popular CNN docuseries include The 2010s, The History of Comedy, Race for the White House, and History of the Sitcom. In the past, CNN has also been home to Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man.

What About HLN?

HLN logo.
Originally named CNN2, HLN is another cable news network owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.
Channel NameDirecTV Channel Number

Amongst all the cable news networks on the air today, you may notice one by the name of HLN. As it turns out, HLN originated under a different name: CNN2. Launched by Turner Broadcasting in 1982, it remained intrinsically linked by name to the Cable News Network for several months until it changed its name to Headline News. This was later abbreviated to simply HLN in 2008. This abbreviation coincided with a total network overhaul. Instead of programming in line with CNN’s higher standards, HLN would now focus on recognizable personalities and social media coverage.

During the late 2000s and early ’10s, such personalities included Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace — two names decidedly quite different in style and tone compared to CNN’s on-air personalities. However, HLN again changed its focus in the 2020s. This time, the network pivoted away from social media and opinionated political commentary and toward true crime investigations and entertainment news. This remains the network’s main focus today. Like CNN, it still falls under the Warner Bros. Discovery umbrella. But, it’s closer in spirit to Investigation Discovery than the Cable News Network.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CNN?

CNN is a 24-hour cable news network. Its mission is to provide accurate and timely news coverage from around the world without slant. The Cable News Network aims to be the most trusted and comprehensive news source on television. Over the years, it has largely succeeded at this. Just look at how long it’s been on the air for proof of this.

Who are some famous CNN anchors and correspondents?

CNN has a roster of well-known anchors and correspondents. The most famous ones on air today include Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, and Jake Tapper. Erin Burnett and Kaitlan Collins are two other notable hosts on the Cable News Network. These on-air personalities play key roles in delivering news and analysis to CNN’s audience.

Is CNN available live on Max?

While CNN is not currently streaming live on Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming service Max, there are plans to establish a live streaming service in the very near future. This should be a welcome addition to the streamer — not to mention a chance for CNN to right the wrongs of its failed streaming platform CNN Plus.

Is CNN a reliable news source?

Despite claims from rival cable news networks and other partisan sources, CNN is generally considered a reputable news source with a long history of delivering factual news coverage to its audience. Like all news organizations, there’s bound to be some slant from on-air commentators from time to time. However, the news network typically remains as centrist as possible.

What sets CNN apart from other news networks?

CNN is known for being one of the first 24-hour news channels in cable history. It stands apart from the pack by offering continuous, factual, high-quality news coverage around the clock. The network is also significant for its global reach, helping the station provide international news from the front lines. Its documentary programming is also top-notch, marking another distinction over rival news networks.

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