On August 7, CBS reached an agreement with AT&T to live-stream content via DirecTV Now in a number of major U.S. markets. The network followed up on this news by announcing plans to expand its All Access streaming service on an international basis, beginning next year in Canada before heading to other markets.
All Access provides subscribers with on-demand access to episodes of current and past content, as well as live television feeds from CBS and licensed affiliates. Last year, CBS predicted that All Access would reach eight million subscribers by 2020; apparently that has turned out to be a conservative estimate, as the network is ahead of schedule (despite some past hiccups), and on pace to surpass four million subscribers by the end of 2017.
CBS All Access — seen by many as the network’s answer to Hulu, the popular streaming service jointly owned by NBC, Fox, and ABC (CBS’s three primary competitors) — will be the home of CBS’ new series Star Trek: Discovery. While Discovery will be broadcast on local CBS stations as well, only All Access subscribers will have the opportunity to stream the first two episodes on September 24, the night of the premiere.
CBS also owns Showtime, which will be available to DirecTV Now customers in select premium channel packages or as a standalone add-on. Showtime also offers its own streaming service, priced at $11/month. Showtime content is not included with the $7 monthly subscription to All Access, but fans can get the two together for $15 with limited commercials or $19 with no commercials. Showtime content will be ad-free regardless of which package you choose.
Either way, the cheapest way to get Showtime is via DirecTV, where you can sign up for just $8/month. This will net you access to Showtime content through DirecTV Now, the Showtime Anytime app, and Showtime’s website.
That’s not all, either — Les Moonves, CEO and chairman of CBS, told analysts that the network plans to introduce a 24/7 live-streaming service for sports (modeled after the CBSN news service), though no further details were revealed.