Watch CNN Live

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 4, 2008
Updated • Dec 13, 2012
Music and Video

Here is a quick tip send in by Alex who is a regular reader and commenter here at Ghacks. If you want to watch CNN live and all other methods and applications do not seem to work right now you might want to try the following easy method providing that you have access to a computer with Windows Media Player installed.

Might be just what you need to watch the current US elections live but it is of course working all the time not only during the elections.

To start open Windows Media Player. Press the keyboard combination [CTRL U] to open a small window where an url of a media stream can be entered. Paste the following url in the form exactly as it is shown below:



Hit ok to load the stream. It usually takes a few seconds before the stream becomes active due to the buffering process. After that everything should run smooth and fine.

The screenshot above was taken from the live CNN stream. It works pretty well. Any tips to get this running on different operating systems or media players? Let us know!

Update: The CNN live stream is no longer working. Interestingly enough, there is another option to watch CNN live, and this option is provided by CNN itself. Head over to and you should see the CNN live stream right in the browser you are opening the link with. Note that you do need Adobe Flash installed in the browser to watch the stream, and that it opens in a popup.

I highly recommend to click no when the Adobe Flash Player Enhancement popup appears on the screen as it is not required to view the CNN stream in the browser.

While that is not the same as watching the stream in a media player, it is better than nothing I guess.


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  1. brain said on November 5, 2008 at 12:39 am


    vlc–>file–>open file

    paste in “open:”:



  2. Charlie said on November 5, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Hi Martin,

    I just had this played on my VLC 0.9.4 portable.
    I have klite mega codecs installed too if that matters. i do have WMP 11 installed but it does work well on my limited account which I use whenever I go online.

    Sadly, though, since I am limited to only about 250 Kbps on my internet it is agonizingly sooo slow. Video and sounds works despite.


  3. Charlie said on November 5, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Sorry correction on my previous post. WMP DOES NOT work well on my limited account.


  4. Paras said on November 5, 2008 at 3:15 am

    For a Canadian student stuck at University on a late night doing some projects, this is a great resource.

    Thank you SO much!

  5. mikaelf said on November 5, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Great for us in Sweden! :)

  6. David said on November 5, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Do you have a feed for CNBC? Thanks.

  7. waderb said on November 5, 2008 at 3:57 am

    It’s not working for me… I just get an error. Perhaps it won’t work in Canada.

  8. Joe said on November 5, 2008 at 4:50 am

    I get an error too… Also in Canada.

  9. Lee said on November 5, 2008 at 5:53 am

    Works great for me, I’m in Canada, using VLC. File, Open Stream, Paste into the rtsp field…

  10. Miniminime said on November 5, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Anyone knows how to get the URL for other streaming media to open it in “my” player instead of the network window?


  11. k said on November 5, 2008 at 7:05 am

    You can also use the totem media player (default player in the Gnome Desktop). Just change rttp to http.

  12. Jon said on November 5, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Lifehacker’s commenter Tyson0016 pointed out which was much more reliable for me.

  13. Bruno said on November 5, 2008 at 11:03 am

    it works great with windows media player, but with
    VLC it stops after 2 minutes.
    @ Charlie, the flux is around 360 Kbps.

    by the way, tt’s “The day” to watch CNN

    thx for this tip and
    congratz Obama !! here in france we are being happy, Obama has won by 86% cons 6% for McCain.


  14. Domdom said on November 5, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    I dont get any sound? weird?? do you? (using WMP11)

  15. Karl L. Gechlik | said on November 6, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Sound works here. Awesome post.

  16. Trashkan said on November 7, 2008 at 4:23 am

    With this link i get CNN International, but i’m looking for CNN US (btw i’m located in Europe).
    Please advise!

  17. nwilliam3 said on November 7, 2008 at 5:48 am

    The link above appears to be CNN International. I noticed when I view the US version in the flash player it was stream 4. So I took the link above and replaced all the “1”s with “4”s and it worked.

    So you should be able to get the US Feed by going to.

    I’m guessing you can play with the numbers to get other feeds.

  18. Trashkan said on November 10, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    thanks nwilliam3, unfortunatelly i get ‘CNN Weather’ with feed nr. 4 .. no luck either with feeds 2 or 3

    so still looking 4 tips to get the CNN US stream!
    (again, i’m located in Europe)

  19. Cnn Lover said on December 10, 2008 at 6:20 am


    This does not work anymore. ANy new link?

  20. Melanie said on December 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    That link is not working for me either.

  21. Jon said on December 10, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    This link:

    still works for me.

  22. Bye CNN said on January 2, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Nothing works anymore…

  23. me said on January 23, 2009 at 5:35 am

    this is garbage anyway. it’s not a feed of the cnn cable channel we get in the states. it’s just something they sloppily threw together for their website. it’s not worth anyone’s time. of course if you just want to get the news straight up and you don’t care how or from where then anything is fine, i suppose, but if you thought that this is what americans see on tv when they watch cnn you’re wrong.

  24. hi said on April 8, 2009 at 3:20 am

    CNN is no live at present, and i go to, there is the same

    anyway, you could watch FOX , and the website is

    enjoy it

  25. DASD said on May 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm


  26. Mad Tomato said on May 28, 2010 at 3:43 am

    It dose not work!.. :(

  27. avi said on March 9, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Hey that link to watch cnn on windows media does not work today – was that too old?

  28. Anonymous said on September 11, 2011 at 5:12 am

    I really need a link that’s work well for CNN please, with VLC


    1. charlie said on December 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      go get then go over here happy holidays and new year hope that kind of helps

  29. Pastor said on December 15, 2022 at 7:02 am

    Is there any way that this can work on the latest version of vlc for MacOS Ventura 13?

    Thanks very much for your response!

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