CBS All Access
Type of site
|Video on demand, OTT, live streaming|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
United States |
(President, CBS Corporation)
|Registration||Monthly subscription required to access content|
|Launched||October 28, 2014|
CBS All Access is an over-the-top subscription streaming video on demand service owned and operated by CBS Interactive. It offers original content, content newly aired on CBS's broadcast properties, and content from CBS's library, along with live streams of the local CBS affiliate's main channel, where available.
On October 28, 2014, CBS launched CBS All Access, an over-the-top subscription streaming service – priced at $5.99 USD per month ($9.99 with an option for advertising-free streaming content) – which allows users to view past and present episodes of CBS shows. Announced on October 16, 2014 (one day after HBO announced the launch of its over-the-top service HBO Now), as the first 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. In addition to providing full-length episodes of CBS programs, the service allows live programming streams of local CBS affiliates in 124 markets reaching 75% of the United States (including stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Hearst Television, Tegna Media, Nexstar Media Group, Meredith Corporation, Griffin Communications, Raycom Media, Weigel Broadcasting and Cox Media Group and the launch group of CBS Television Stations), 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. By the very nature of it 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 National Football League 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. In the 2018 NFL season, a new agreement with Verizon ending that exclusivity will allow CBS All Access to stream games to all mobile devices.
In August 2017, CBS announced plans to expand CBS All Access internationally. The first international market to receive the service will be Canada, with a launch date planned for early 2018.  Plans to launch the service in Australia quickly followed, resulting from CBS's purchase of Australian free-to-air broadcaster Network Ten. The service will launch in Australia by the end of 2018.
In September 2017, Star Trek Discovery debuted on streaming on CBS, and they also recorded record number of sign-ups after this. The records where the greatest number of single day, week, and monthly sign-up records since the streaming network's inception. They reported the previous single-day record was held by the 2017 Grammy award ceremony coverage. CBS was noted as harnessing the Star trek fan-base which were noted as willing to get the service just to see the series.
Buoyed by Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access reached over 2 million subscribers by early 2018, with the 60th Annual Grammy Awards also providing a boost to Cell App watchers. The 60th Grammys in January 2018 resulted in the 2nd biggest day for sign-ups after the Discovery premier.
In April 2018, the first CBS All Access service outside the United States launched in Canada. However, much of the high-profile current CBS programming is missing from the Canadian service, as they are being already exclusively licensed to Canadian television channels and networks. Non-exclusively licensed and unlicensed programming is available on the service, from current to classic programming. For example, CBS All Access' flagship original series, Star Trek: Discovery, is licensed to Canadian broadcasters Space and Z Tele and Canadian VOD service CraveTV, as such, it is currently unavailable to the Canadian CBS service.
- Early 2015- over 100,000 subscribers.
- December 2016- around 1.2 million
- February 2017- nearly 1.5 million subscribers.
- Early 2018- over 2 million
CBS All Access has received criticism about the technical aspects of the service, with a maximum video quality of only 720p with high compression levels and two-channel stereo sound rather than a surround sound format such as Dolby Digital. This contrasts with Hulu's maximum 1080p streaming (and CBS's default over-the-air transmission standard of 1080i), and Netflix's maximum available quality being 4k with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.
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. The first season will consist 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. The series became the first original drama on the platform when the Star Trek series premiere was delayed until the fall of 2017.
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. 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.
Syndicated and archived programming
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, to which CBS only holds "last five" episode rights 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.
In mid-April 2017, a limited library of films, made up of content from Paramount Pictures, The Samuel Goldwyn Company and CBS Films, was made available on the service. This includes several titles in the Star Trek film series.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2016-08-04.