The Cable News Network (better known as CNN) is a famous American news channel. Founded by Ted Turner over three decades ago, they have been around since 1980 and are still going strong today. Here MusicSnake Magazine put together a list of fifteen surprising facts you probably didn’t know about CNN.

CNN Celebrity Controversy

In 2009, musical artist M.I.A. did an hour long interview with the news source speaking out about important political issues, including mass bombings and civilian fatalities in Sri Lanka. She claims they cut down her interview to one minute, citing her use of the word “Genocide” (not allowed on air) as the reason.

It Has Popular Sister Networks

A lot of people wouldn’t assume that such a large news network would partner with cartoon channels, but it’s true. Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and TNT are a few of CNN’s sister networks.

The Company Launched Unsuccessful Specialty Channels

The tried out a sports news channel titled CNNSI, and a business news channel CNNfn. Neither of them were very popular, however, and shut down a mere few years after launching.

The Challenge Disaster

In 1986, the network aired the only live coverage of the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Tragically, there was an accident which involved the death of all seven crew members aboard the craft.

CNN Was the First TV Channel to Provide 24 Hour News

Though not an uncommon quality now, CNN was the first to have news coverage available all hours of the day. It was also the first network to air exclusively news in the USA, instead of only news segments.

Communicated from Inside Iraq During the Gulf War

CNN was the only news source able to report from Iraq during the Coalition bombing campaign in 1991. They reported live from a hotel in Baghdad. Many other sources did not have such direct coverage of these important events.

They Were First to Report on 9/11

Anchor Carol Lin was the reporter covering this tragedy on the fateful morning of September 11th. Other news networks around the country and world would soon follow suit.

They Won a Freedom of Speech Award

Slightly ironic considering the last fact on this list, but CNN received the Four Freedom Award, which celebrates free speech. This happened in 1998, 18 years after the network’s creation.

They Were Sued by a Beautician

Liang Shubing sued the network for “violating the dignity and reputation of the Chinese people” for over a billion dollars. This happened in 2008.

CNN Launched Their Website in 1995

CNN.com would grow to become one of the most visited websites in the entire world. It started, however, as an experiment called CNN Interactive.

Still Has Original Bureaus in Operation

CNN opened bureaus in both Chicago and Atlanta when it was first formed. Those two are still in existence along with later additions that opened in NYC, San Francisco, and more.

They Have a Film Division

This started in 2012 and is titled CNN Films. The main focus of this division is documentaries, and it aired a made-for-TV series focusing on the struggle of girls’ education as its first acquisition.

The Channel Has Spin-Off Networks in Other Countries

The network does not only broadcast in the United States but also in far off places. Some of these countries include Indonesia, Turkey, and the Philippines.

CNN is Available to Over 82.7% of US Households

This statistic is as of February 2015. This news source is available to about 96,289,000 television sets around America. That is a huge sphere of influence.

The CNN Effect

This is an actual theory in political science and media studies. The theory asserts that the development of this news network had a huge impact on the conduct of foreign policy around the world during the Cold War.