CBS All Access

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CBS All Access
CBS All Access Logo.svg
Type of site
Streaming video
Available inEnglish
HeadquartersNew York City,
United States
Area served
OwnerCBS Interactive
(ViacomCBS)
URLwww.cbs.com/all-access/
RegistrationMonthly subscription required to access content
Users17.9 million (as of November 5, 2020)
LaunchedOctober 28, 2014 (2014-10-28)

CBS All Access (known as 10 All Access in Australia) is an American streaming video service owned and operated by CBS Interactive, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. It offers original content, content newly aired on CBS's broadcast properties, and content from the ViacomCBS library. In the United States, many markets offer a live stream of the local CBS affiliate's main channel. As of November 5, 2020, it has more than 17 million subscribers.[1][2]

CBS All Access will be rebranded as Paramount+ in early 2021 as part of its expansion to feature content from ViacomCBS' other brands.[3] The relaunched Paramount+ will also expand to international markets, starting with Australia, Latin America and the Nordics in 2021.[4]

History[edit]

Beginnings (2014–2019)[edit]

CBS All Access was launched on October 28, 2014, priced at US$5.99 per month with advertising and $9.99 per month without.[5][6][7][8] Announced on October 16, 2014, as the first over-the-top (OTT) offering by an American broadcast television network, the service initially encompassed the network's existing streaming portal at CBS.com and its mobile app for smartphones and tablet computers; CBS All Access became available on Roku on April 7, 2015, and on Chromecast on May 14, 2015.[9][10] In addition to providing full-length episodes of past and present of CBS programs, the service allows live programming streams of local CBS affiliates in 194 markets reaching 92% of the United States (including stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Hearst Television, Tegna Media, Nexstar Media Group, Meredith Corporation, Griffin Communications, Gray Television, Weigel Broadcasting and Cox Media Group and the launch group of CBS Television Stations[11]), including SEC sports and the NFL; however due to the absence of streaming rights, a few sports events are not streamed on the service (mainly involving PGA Tour events, some locally programmed NFL preseason games, and select brokered shows through CBS Sports Spectacular), along with limited syndicated and paid programming where only a local broadcast license to carry the program is allowed and web airing rights are retained by the syndicator or infomercial producer.[12][13][14][15][16] By the very nature of its being live, streaming of a local affiliate does include all advertising, even with the commercial-free plan.

On December 1, 2016, CBS announced an agreement with the NFL to allow clearance of regional NFL games carried by CBS on CBS All Access from Week 13 of the 2016 NFL season on. At the time, the games were blacked out on non–Verizon Wireless mobile devices due to that provider's exclusivity agreement as part of their "official wireless provider" sponsorship of the league.[17] In the 2018 NFL season, a new agreement with Verizon ending that exclusivity began to allow CBS All Access to stream games to all mobile devices; Super Bowl games run on CBS All Access without the need for any authentication.

As of February 2017, the service had nearly 1.5 million subscribers.[18] In August 2017, CBS unveiled plans to expand CBS All Access to markets outside the United States. Canada was announced as the first international market to receive the service.[19] Plans to launch in Australia quickly followed, resulting from CBS's purchase of free-to-air broadcaster Network 10.[20]

In September 2017, Star Trek: Discovery debuted on streaming on CBS, and they also recorded a record number of sign-ups after this.[21] The records were the greatest number of single day, week, and monthly sign-up records since the streaming network's inception.[21] They reported the previous single-day record was held by the 2017 Grammy award ceremony coverage.[21] CBS was noted as harnessing the Star Trek fanbase which was willing to get the service just to see the series.[22]

Buoyed by Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access reached over 2 million subscribers by early 2018. The 60th Annual Grammy Awards also provided a boost to sign-ups, marking the second largest day for new subscriptions after the Discovery premiere.[23] In April 2018, CBS All Access was made available outside the United States for the first time when it was launched in Canada.[24]

10 All Access' logo

The service launched in Australia in December 2018 as 10 All Access. It operates alongside 10's free catch up and live streaming service 10 Play and contains a mixture of Network 10 and CBS programming. CBS shows are made available on All Access prior to being broadcast on 10's channels. 10 All Access is commercial-free and, unlike CBS All Access, has only one pricing tier.[25][26]

In January 2019, CBS reported its largest increase in subscribers over a weekend—a 72% increase over the premiere of Discovery, crediting the premiere of season 2 of the series and that week's AFC Championship Game (which also brought the service its largest streaming audience for a football game). Super Bowl LIII would surpass this record only a few weeks later, with CBS reporting an 84% increase in new subscribers.[27][28]

ViacomCBS era and relaunch as Paramount+ (2019–present)[edit]

On November 25, 2019, as part of the re-merger between CBS Corporation and Viacom, CBS All Access announced the inclusion of programming from Nickelodeon, as part of the wider launch of children's programming on the service, with other partners including Boat Rocker Studios and WildBrain.[29][30]

On February 6, 2020, CNBC reported that ViacomCBS was in discussions to launch a larger premium streaming offering, combining CBS All Access with content from Paramount Pictures, the Domestic Media Networks division, and Pluto TV. The service would include an ad-free tier, and a premium tier that includes Showtime's streaming service. The company would maintain its existing streaming platforms, while marketing the new service to users of these other services.[31][32] ViacomCBS partially outlined these plans in a corporate earnings call on February 20, 2020, stating that the expanded All Access service would take a "house of brands" approach to content and serve as a mid-tier offering complementing Pluto TV (which would remain a free service) and the Showtime OTT service by "adding a broad pay offering, built on [All Access's] foundation." The expanded service will include content from MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and Smithsonian Channel, as well as a library of 30,000 television series episodes and up to 1,000 film titles from Paramount's film and television divisions and CBS Television Distribution, and expanded live news and sports offerings. No pricing plan or firm dates for content expansion were disclosed, though a "soft [re]launch" will occur later in 2020. ViacomCBS will also continue to license its TV and film content to competing streaming platforms.[33][34]

On May 7, 2020, CBS All Access began adding more films to the service, starting with more than 100 from Paramount Pictures, and ViacomCBS announced that CBS All Access will expand internationally within twelve months.[35] On July 30, 2020, CBS All Access added several shows from ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, introduced a new user interface with "hubs" for different brands, and revealed that Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years (previously planned to air on Nickelodeon) would debut on the service in 2021.[36] With the expansion, it was also announced that the service would rebrand in early-2021 to separate itself from CBS's platforms, and that there were plans to add multiple user profiles and parental controls later in 2020.[37]

On September 15, 2020, it was announced that CBS All Access would rebrand as Paramount+ in early 2021, and that it planned to perform more international expansion under the new name. ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish stated Paramount was "an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling". Several new series were also announced for the service, including true crime series The Real Criminal Minds, MTV's Behind the Music – The Top 40, a revival of the BET series The Game, Taylor Sheridan's Lioness, and The Offer — a drama based on Albert S. Ruddy's experiences filming The Godfather.[38]

Subscribers[edit]

Subscribers As of Ref
Over 100,000 Early 2015 [39]
Around 1.2 million December 2016 [40]
Nearly 1.5 million February 2017 [18]
Over 2 million Early 2018 [41]
2.5 million August 2018 [1]
4 million February 2019 [42]

Programming[edit]

Original programming[edit]

On November 2, 2015, it was announced that the first CBS All Access original series would be a new Star Trek series in 2017, which is set in the original Star Trek universe.[43] The first season of Star Trek: Discovery consisted of 15 episodes.

On May 18, 2016, it was announced that The Good Wife would get a spin-off featuring Christine Baranski's character Diane Lockhart. The series, titled The Good Fight, launched with a CBS broadcast premiere on February 19, 2017, with the remaining nine episodes exclusive to CBS All Access.[44] The series became the first original drama on the platform when the Star Trek series premiere was delayed until the fall of 2017.[45]

On August 2, 2016, the announcement was made that an online version of Big Brother would air on CBS All Access in the fall of 2016. The announcement marked the first CBS television series set to air exclusively on the platform. It is also expected to be the first reality game show set to air exclusively on any streaming platform.[46] On August 10, 2016, CBS announced that Julie Chen would continue to serve as host, and then revealed the season to be called Big Brother: Over the Top.

In February 2019, CBS:AA announced they were planning a show based on the Star Trek: The Next Generation character Captain Jean-Luc Picard, to air before the end of the year.[2] The series was later announced as Star Trek: Picard, and premiered on January 23, 2020.[47][48] Other original shows in development include a project with Lucy Liu, as well as the continuation of existing shows such as Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight, and The Twilight Zone.[2]

The animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks premiered its first episode on August 6, 2020 on CBS All Access in the United States.[49][50][51]

As part of CBS All Access' expansion, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (following its premium video on demand window)[52] and Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years will debut on the service in 2021.[37][36]

Sports programming[edit]

In March 2020, CBS and the National Women's Soccer League announced a three-year deal to broadcast games across the main CBS network, CBS Sports Network, and CBS All Access.[53]

In November 2019, CBS announced that it had acquired rights to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League in European soccer, replacing Turner Sports. All matches will stream on CBS All Access, with selected matches on other platforms.[54] The contract was initially to begin in the 2021-22 season and last through 2023-24. However, during a suspension of the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, existing rightsholder Turner Sports opted out of their contract (which had been criticized by viewers as providing cumbersome access through Turner's BR Live app and irregular wireline scheduling of matches), and CBS took over the rights early.[55]

Syndicated and archived programming[edit]

The most recent episodes of the network's shows are usually made available on CBS.com and CBS All Access the day after their original broadcast.

CBS All Access provides complete back catalogs of most of its current series, including full-season "stacking rights" (with the exception of certain series, such as The Big Bang Theory, which CBS held only "last five" episode rights during its original run, as Warner Bros. retains all other rights as the show's distributor), as well as a wide selection of episodes of classic series from the CBS Television Distribution program library – including shows previously owned by Paramount Television made for both CBS and other networks prior to CBS's acquisition of its program library through the CBS-Viacom split (including the complete episode catalog of shows like Star Trek, Cheers, MacGyver, Twin Peaks and CSI: Miami) to subscribers of the service. CBS All Access also carries behind-the-scenes features from CBS programs and special events, and (beginning with the 17th season in June 2015) live feeds and special content from the reality series Big Brother.[6]

In mid-April 2017, a limited library of films, made up of content from Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sony Pictures, The Samuel Goldwyn Company and CBS Films, was made available on the service. This includes several titles in the Star Trek film series. On May 7, 2020, CBS All Access added more than 100 films from Paramount Pictures;[56] more films were added in the coming months.

In August 2019, CBS All Access expanded into children's broadcasting by acquiring the US broadcast rights to Danger Mouse (1981) (as well as the reboot of the series), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and several other series by WildBrain.[57]

On July 30, 2020, CBS All Access added 56 shows from ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks.[37]

International[edit]

Outside of the United States, CBS All Access is currently available in Australia (as "10 All Access") and Canada. Due to program rights and existing content deals, several programs are not available on local versions, or have delayed availability for new episodes.[58] For example, Star Trek: Discovery and other shows from the franchise are licensed to Bell Media in Canada for their CTV Sci-Fi (in English) and Z (in French) channels and streaming service Crave.[59][58]

In August 2020, ViacomCBS announced plans to launch an expanded international streaming service using the CBS All Access technical architecture, but under the new Paramount+ name (revealed in September) in early 2021; the Paramount+ name will also be applied to the American replacement to CBS All Access. The service will feature original programming from CBS All Access as well as Showtime, plus additional programming including Paramount Pictures films which may vary by market. The service will initially launch in Australia (replacing 10 All Access), and relaunch in the Nordics and Latin America (where a service of the same name already exists), with additional markets to follow.[60] In Australia, while the relaunched service will premiere all new Showtime original programs going forward, currently-airing series will remain on Stan until their conclusion under an existing deal.[61]

ViacomCBS has indicated that the Canadian version of CBS All Access will also be rebranded in 2021, but has not specifically confirmed whether it will become part of Paramount+.[62]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]