CBS Is Launching a Cord-Cutting Subscription Streaming Service, Too

That puddle of warm fluids pooling at your feet is the pee leaking out of the frightened execs who run cable television providers. Their monopoly on beaming television content into living rooms has been in jeopardy ever since third-party streaming services started Netflixin' and Huluin', but now their content partners are making life difficult for them, too. 

On Thursday, CBS announced CBS All Access, a multi-platform digital subscription service that gives users on-demand access to most of the network's current programming as well as classics from its vault. The cost is $5.99 per month (for comparison's sake, Netflix Instant is $8.99 per month, and Hulu Plus is $7.99 per month) and includes on-demand programming as well as live-streaming of local CBS affiliates (available in 14 markets at launch, with more to be added later). 

So what do you get for the price of a couple coffees or one super fancy coffee? 

– Full current seasons of 15 CBS primetime shows and access to new episodes the day after they air. The network hasn't made it totally clear which shows it's counting as its "15 primetime shows," but after signing up for a free one-week trial, I can confirm that all the biggies are there, including The Big Bang TheoryBlue Bloods, Criminal MindsCSIElementaryThe Good WifeHawaii Five-0The Mentalist, NCISPerson of Interest, and Survivor.    

– The ability to live-stream local CBS stations (again, only in the initial 14 markets). However, sports fans should note that "some sporting events, including NFL coverage, are not available for live-streaming," according to the network. 

– Full past seasons of eight CBS shows, including The Good WifeBlue Bloodsand Survivor, with more options coming. 

– Over 5,000 episodes of commercial-free "CBS Classics," including CheersTwin PeaksStar Trekand CSI: Miami

– Big Brother 24/7 live feeds. Yawn.

– Extra content for CBS's special events, like the Country Music Awards and The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (meow!). 

This news comes just one day after HBO announced that it will begin offering its programming via an à la carte subscription fee—without a cable subscription—in 2015. 

This is a particularly bold move for CBS, which has always been more rigid than its fellow broadcast networks with regard to making its content readily available online. When Fox, NBC, and ABC went in together on Hulu, CBS held out and restricted all streaming of its programming to CBS.com. Now, CBS All Access will be the first subscription service tied to a single broadcast network, which fits CBS's business model of maintaining control of its content. 

With cable bills skyrocketing (mine is something like $120 a month and I don't even have Showtime or Starz), viewers have been demanding an à la carte options for years. If you tally up the cost of monthly subscriptions to Hulu Plus ($7.99), Netflix ($8.99), CBS All Access ($5.99), and HBO's yet-to-be-named service (it'll be different than HBO Go, which does require a cable subscription, and it's expected cost as much as $15), cord-cutters could save a pretty penny. Of course, most of these services come with limits—i.e. one-day delays for watching new episodes on demand and no live-streaming of sports—but this is the future and we all better get used to it. Yep, even you, Comcast. 


Are you ready to tell Comcast and Time Warner to go make love them to themselves?


Full disclosure: TV.com is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS.


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Jan 21, 2016
This is so stupid. Because you would be only subscribe to one network. Why pay for just one network? When people are with netflix and hulu they have a variety kf shows. And cutting off from that seems like a step back from the game. I really want to see new seasons and episodes on hulu and netflix.
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Nov 06, 2015
it appears the live stream tv part of CBS is very limited and not available in my area that would have been a cord cutter for me watch my programs / mostly the morning and evening news on cbs so I will be cancelling at the end of the free trial
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Oct 11, 2015
I say most emphatically that if I am going to spend more-- already have Netflix streaming and ordering--so if I am going to spend more, it is going to be for Acorn, all Brit programming. CBS can take a flyin'.... who do they think they are, so special??????
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Jun 16, 2015
I can watch ABC shows on Hulu so why pay extra for all the CBS shows? CBS sucks.
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Mar 31, 2015
Ok so here's the biggest joke it's $5.99 a month AND THERES COMMERCIALS!!!! I've been watching hawaii five-0 and there's still about 4 commercials per episode. Call me crazy but that's insane @ $5.99
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Feb 15, 2015
5.99 is kind of steep. You can't compare to netflix and hulu because they carry way more. If I pay 6 bucks for each network "family" that is going to add up to quite a bit. 3 bucks would be better and probably provide more profits because it would be more doable if all the major network families did something similar (nbc, abc, turner, wb, fox, discovery, etc). People aren't going to cut the cable unless they get everything at a reasonable cost.

Besides it probably doesn't provide an option to record to save, which I still do sometimes. Sorry but nothing will be available on the net forever or even for long.
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Jan 13, 2015
what about CNN FNC HGTV Hallmark food channel
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Nov 08, 2014
I summit we stop watching them and buy the tv series from Walmarts and Amazon . Witch I do anyway, because my internet service has a rep. It is like if it is raining, if the sun is shinning, if the wind is blowing TRAIN is not working except an hour a day and usualy not at one time. LOL This mt it is csi Miami. And I am paying 30 a mt to see maybe 1 show a day in a bit here and a bit there. I live in a residential hotel that is 75 miles from the nearest tv tower. They sell antenias that go up to 60 miles BIG WHOPP. 15 miles to short and no dish can be put on our roof.
First went abc. And I went with it. Now I am able to get free abc again BECAUSE EVERYONE stopped watching or did not order there pay for view program. And with all of them you have to put up with ads the same ones over and over again. HULU asks witch ones you want to watch then shows ALL of them to you over and over. I paid 7 bucks to Rabbit tv for a year of things thay pay for plus the blasted ads. I plain to go back to Amazone it is the best of the pay to sees BUT they want the 99.00 for a year and that is a big bite out of Socail Security check at one time. And they atomaticly take it out next year at 70 who can remember what mt that is and have the money in there so no over draught fees are taken out.
I am with everyone else on this why pay for something that has already been paid for by their sponcers. They pay for them to broadcast this shows. Now they want us to watch them and pay too? As for Ted Turner the man is a freakin billionaire why does he need our pennys too????
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Nov 05, 2014
If it were free, it would be worth it. Unless it is ad free, CBS shouldn't be charging anything-the regular network programming is supposed to be free (we get ads in exchange for free programming). So unless it's ad free, it basically ripping off viewers.
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Mar 31, 2015
It's NOT add free. It's a joke $5.99 and every hour show has about 5 mandatory commevrials. Gtfoh
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Oct 17, 2014
How will this affect the streaming currently available on TV.com and CBS.com?
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Nov 08, 2014
Unavailable until like abc they see that no one is going to pay and the publicity starts to kill them . Then they will make it available to you again. BUT with cBS you have to deal with Ted Turner who is a billionaire, and who is a bipolar and could and would say f im shut the whole thing down. But he has a board of directors who can shut him down. IF THEY WILL and they probably will because they are not quite as rich as he is. And they know he has a tendency to over react. They have to look at the big picture. Like the sponcers going somewhere else. And the shows not be showen.
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Oct 17, 2014
See - this is the big question. There does not seem to be changes announced yet but the All Access has the "next day" for new shows - and I won't be surprised if that is removed from the free site at some point...
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Oct 17, 2014
I've already given up cable. I only miss BBCA and HBO, so I'm excited by the HBO news. I've been watching CBS on the computer and it's been fine. My big question is whether or not there will be commercials with CBS All Access. It's what I loathe about Hulu Plus (not so much the commercials themselves, but the same 2 or 3 commercials every time there's a break - how many times can I watch people almost fall asleep and then eat oatmeal?), but since Hulu Plus is the only reasonable way to watch all my favorites, I'm stuck with it.
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Oct 17, 2014
Are you ready to tell Comcast and Time Warner to go make love them to themselves?
WELL HELL YEAH! But you do know why the cable companies charge all these freaking high rates don't you? They turn around and bid against each other in order to buy the privilege to cover the NFL, NBA, Nascar and all the other overpriced sports crap. My cable company has no less than 20 different ESPN channels that I have no choice but to pay for. I really hate subsidizing these over-priced prima donnas and out and out thugs. I wish that the sports junkies would have there own cable packages and I could opt out except for the few things I would really watch, like the Olympics and maybe some local teams. But you know that will never happen because the team owners will never use their own profits to pay the salaries for these superstar athletes, just like they go to the public to pay for all the upgrades to their stadiums. God Bless America, where we have the freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of profit by any (despicable) means possible. I'm tired of all the crappy commercials anyhow. All the shows have a 6 min commercial break every 12 min and when it does come back on, we have to see a 10 sec (HUGE ASS) TV-MA that covers up the top left of the screen. Then the networks have the audacity to put animated flashing banner ad's all over the picture advertising what's coming on next and now even # this and # that. I'm glad I don't have a gun nearby or I would be really tempted to pull an Elvis and shoot the damn thing. A streaming TV a la-carte buffet can't come soon enough for me, but the ISP's had better start getting some BIG "4K" FiOS cables laid so we can get our stream-on.
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Mar 31, 2015
The kicker is they make you pay $5.99 and there's still commercials! They want to have their cake and eat it to. Every show has about 5 mandatory commetrials. And ya loose anyway you drop cable but still need net once everybody starts doing that they'll just jack up the Internet price to compensate.
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Oct 17, 2014
Some concerns about "cable cutting" are how much would people pay a la carte, and would they demand commercial-free programming? Would going from cable's hundreds of channels to cable-cutting's dozens of individual monthly bills be an improvement? And I'm not sure many ISPs are prepared for every customer continuously streaming HD content all the time.
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Oct 17, 2014
It's pretty obvious that $6 per "free" channel won't fit into anyone's cord-cutting equation. CBS can't be getting more than a few pennies per cable subscriber - the price should be far lower, especially if it's not commercial-free.

As for bandwidth, most will probably use the same cable they're using now for TV. BUT it's a pretty safe bet the cable companies will gouge their internet customers to make up for lost TV subscription revenue!
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Mar 31, 2015
It's not commercial free. Every show has 5 mandatory commercials. Its a joke.
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Oct 17, 2014
I did the free trial. So not worth it. They only have the latest episodes for current TV shows, and not all seasons for all previous/cancelled shows. Besides, you have to use a mobile device or go to their website. I want to watch it on my TV without having to Airplay it.
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Oct 17, 2014
Do they have Elementary, as I missed pretty much all of last season?

Hard to think of NBC's Cheers as a CBS classic.

CBS has Blue Bloods on Hulu Plus, but not sure what else

In the long run, as someone noted below, if more, or all, networks - even studios - did this, then it may be cheaper to go with cable or dish anyway. It would be nice if they included Showtime even for an slightly extra cost. What about the CW?

I don't mind commercials. I get they keep costs down, but Hulu has demonstrated no restraint in harassing viewers with the same commercials over and over and over... Having to sit through an Always pads commercial six times during one episode of a show gets nauseating. More so when they do this for multiple episodes in a row be it binge watching or daily. If any network, let alone CBS does this, it's not worth it, particularly if paying too. I honestly think people should start complaining to the FTC and the FCC on this, if not the streaming service. Hulu doesn't give a s**t anyway and, last I looked, even closed down their feedback section.
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Oct 17, 2014
Blue Bloods is on Hulu+ but only 3 seasons (last year's season is not there); The Good Wife is over on Amazon Prime... That's pretty much all the real streaming available on the CBS shows.

Elementary does not have previous seasons in the All Access from what I can see.
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Oct 17, 2014
Actually Hulu+ has all 4 seasons - sorry. Not sure which series I was thinking about... :)
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Oct 17, 2014
It's not worth $6/mo for me even if it's HD and commercial-free - I can easily record it OTA, strip commercials and stream locally. If they leave CBS.com in place that's another option for free recording. What I need is access to cable channels like FX, AMC, TNT, Syfy etc. before I can cut the cord...
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Oct 17, 2014
It does make sense for people (like me) without a DVR though.
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Oct 17, 2014
Scratch that, it's not available on Roku or any devices streaming directly to the TV so I won't be getting it until they rectify that.
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Oct 17, 2014
The streamers should support all major non-free services. For free services there are inexpensive options like Chromecast or PlayOn...
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Oct 17, 2014
It would be interesting is many of their lesser known older series were made avaiable.
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Oct 16, 2014
this is great in all but for live sports!! plus with Hulu CBS Netflix CBS u are close to 40 bucks if other channels pitch in u might just end up spending more than CABLE just saying
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Oct 16, 2014
Well - if you watch more than a few channels, the packaged deal from cable will probably end up a better deal than a la carte model... I am not sure why everyone likes the "choose your own channels" idea so much - in the long run, it will end up as expensive as cable (or even worse). CBS and their pricing just showed exactly this.... If anyone expected that channels will allow subscriptions for $.99 or something like that, then the math may be worked for them. But I doubt that we will see that... for any channel.
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Oct 16, 2014
This seems to me to be a snowballing effect. A very slow snowball on a fairly level slope but it seems to be gathering momentum. I'm tired of paying for 12 ESPN stations, 15 "reality" stations, 22 infomercial stations and 8 Spanish stations ( I don't speak Spanish so don't call me a racist), all of which I never watch. This sounds like the beginning of what customers wanted all along, an a la carte way of paying for what they want to watch. As to one day delay of current shows, we do that now with DVRs. Ain't no biggie. When I had Time Warner Cable, they raised the rate constantly, simply because they could. I would never pay 25 -30 dollars for HBO and other premium channels because I didn't necessarily like everything on the channels. But I think I would pay under 8.99 for HBO to see some of the top-ticket programs. Throw in Amazon Prime for 9.99 per month and there would be access to a lot of content. Cable cord cutters unite!!!
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Oct 16, 2014
This has me seriously considering cancelling my cable.
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Oct 16, 2014
Soon, TV will be a thing of the past.
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Oct 16, 2014
More networks need to do this!
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Oct 17, 2014
Most network shows you can watch the next day on Hulu Plus except for CBS shows.
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Oct 17, 2014
I'd prefer if networks themselves offered this kind of service so they could see first hand what shows are popular without having a third party giving them numbers. Also if they offer things like live steaming for news and sports in addition to tv shows it would be a better option than cable or in my case satellite.
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Oct 17, 2014
Also it would allow me to watching live TV via my phone when on the road. Antennas can be flaky in some areas.
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Oct 16, 2014
They just had to mention Twin Peaks. :-)
Also, last month CBS was talking about maybe doing something like HBO Nordic overseas, and a no-cable-subscription-required streaming thing for Showtime like HBO announced yesterday. No updates on those, I guess.
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Oct 16, 2014
if there's any old show/season I want to see, I most likely already own the thing.. I'll just stick with the *free* CBS I already have through cable.
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Oct 16, 2014
It's good if you just started to watch a show and want to catch up on previous seasons, or trying to convince others to start watching a show that is heavy on mythology and requires at least partial past seasons to be watched in order to understand what's going on. Person of Interest, for example, isn't available online unless you want to purchase episodes or seasons.
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Oct 16, 2014
I don't understand this. I can get CBS for free, and I certainly wouldn't pay for it.
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Oct 16, 2014
It's made pretty clear up there. I don't know what kind of magical CBS you get for free, but mine doesn't come with commercial free episodes of Star Trek and Cheers. That's also not taking into account the other extras listed above.

Whether or not you feel it's worth it is one thing, but a lack of understanding points to your own failing, not theirs.
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Oct 17, 2014
Except it's not made clear up there. There are a number of articles that mention facts that this one doesn't. Namely how this will be identical to Hulu, including having commercials for non-classics. Meaning that you'll be paying anywhere between 6-16 dollars a month to watch last nights episode of Big Bang Theory.

It's all well and good until ABC starts doing this, NBC starts doing it, Fox, CW, and every other network has their own streaming service, all of which costing 10 dollars each. Please, explain to me how it's a great idea to be paying 50+ dollars to watch 5 networks? Yes, you get the backlog of their channels, but most of them are already on Hulu and Netflix,

If they had a free version with commercials and a paid version without commercials, if the new episodes of CSI or Big Bang were available at the time they air, then it'd be great, it'd be useful but to act like this is a good way to cut ties with cable companies, to save money, it's a complete lie since you're getting less content for more money at a delayed time.
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Oct 17, 2014
I never once said it was a great idea dingleberry, I said it was easy to understand.

Save the essay writing for someone who gives a shit.
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Oct 16, 2014
Do you just download Showtime and Starz shows, then? If so, baller.
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