The streaming service once known as CBS All Access has undergone a lot of change in a very short time. In March of 2021, Paramount Global (then ViacomCBS) scrapped CBS All Access and replaced it with(aka Paramount+, so we’ll use it interchangeably here). With a content library that expanded well beyond just CBS, the move made sense. But so much upheaval in the streaming service’s nascency has contributed to it falling far behind in the streaming wars.
As such, it’s fair to ask, “What is Paramount Plus?” Well, as the service gets bigger and better, it’s a good time to find out. Here’s everything you need to know about Paramount Plus.
Paramount Plus has two main plans: Essential and Premium.
The Paramount+ Essential plan costs $5 a month or $50 a year and includes advertising in most of the on-demand movies and shows. The Premium plan costs $10 a month or $100 a year and gets rid of most advertising.
That’s not the only difference between the two plans, though. The Premium plan also includes a stream of your local CBS affiliate, a lot more sports (more on that below), and the ability to watch some movies in 4K resolution, with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on supported hardware.
Paramount Plus also has a couple of plans that include Showtime, which, like Paramount Plus itself, is owned by Paramount (aka the former ViacomCBS). You can get Showtime and the Essential plan for $12 a month or $120 a year. Or you can get Showtime and the Premium plan without most advertising for $15 a month or $150 a year. You’re also now able to watch Showtime from within the Paramount+ app, further blurring the lines between the two services.
With any subscription plan, you’ll get seven days free before the subscription kicks in. If you want to cancel Paramount+ before the free subscription is up, no worries. And if you decide you want to keep Paramount+, you’ll start being charged after that first week.
Paramount+ is supported by most of the major devices that offer streaming, including:
- Apple products: Apple TV, iPhone, iPad.
- Android products: Android TV, Android phones, and tablets.
- Games consoles: PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Series X/S.
- Streaming devices: Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Portal TV, Google Chromecast, Xfinity Flex.
- Smart TVs: LG, VIZIO, and Samsung (2017 or newer, and only in Australia, Canada, Latin America, and the U.K.).
- Desktop browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer.
- Mobile browsers: iOS 11+, Safari, Android 5+, Chrome.
Paramount+ has, as the name would imply, a wealth of movies from Paramount Pictures. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Paramount+ can and does have all kinds of movies from all sorts of decades, and not just from the Paramount catalog.
And like any other streaming service that has movies, Paramount Plus swaps things out on a pretty regular basis. We could list dozens and dozens of movies here. But we won’t. Instead, we suggest just hopping over to Paramount Plus and checking things out for yourself.
Paramount+’s TV library is what really makes it stand out. The library includes content from CBS, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., and MTV. So, that means you’ll get the bulk of the CBS catalog, including South Park, NCIS, CSI, SpongeBob Squarepants, Criminal Minds, and Young Sheldon, and they’re all available in their entirety on Paramount+.
There’s also a growing crop of new originals that are exclusive to Paramount+. That includes the new entries in the Star Trek universe, including Star Trek: Prodigy, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Picard, and the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. It’s also the only place to watch several exclusive South Park releases.
Paramount Plus also is home to the expanding Yellowstone universe. In addition to the flagship series, it’s also where you’ll find Mayor of Kingstown, from director Antoine Fuqua and starring Jeremy Renner, and the Yellowstone prequel 1883. And that’s just for starters.
You’ll find ample reality TV offerings, news (including 60 Minutes), and content from the Smithsonian Channel.
Yes, Paramount Plus has live sports. Quite a few of them, actually.
The biggest is the NFL. That’s not to say that Paramount Plus lets you watch every single NFL game, because it doesn’t. Nor does it let you watch out-of-market NFL games. (We’re not talking Sunday Ticket, either.)But if you have either of the Paramount Plus plans, you’ll be able to stream the regional game that’s available on your local CBS affiliate. If you’re on the $5-a-month Essential plan (which is the one that also includes advertising in the on-demand content), you’ll be cut off as soon as the game is over. So if you want in on any of the post-game action, you’ll need to pony up for the Premium subscription.
The other sort of football — or fútbol, if you will — also is prevalent on Paramount Plus. More specifically, it’s (mostly) available on the Paramount+ Premium plan.
The biggest example is the UEFA Champions League, which pits the best club teams from Europe against each other each year. You’ll be able to watch the Champions League on either of the two Paramount Plus plans.
That’s followed by the Europa League, comprising teams that didn’t make it into the Champions League competition. There’s also the NWSL (the women’s professional league in the United States), Italy’s Serie A, Brasil’s Brasileirão, the CONCACAF Nation’s League, the Scottish Professional Football League, and various World Cup qualifiers. You’ll need the more-expensive Premium plan for all of that.
What you don’t get with any of this is any sort of live sports in 4K resolution. That’s not actually a surprise — such features are few and far between at this point on any streaming service. But it’d still be nice to see at some point.
Today, if you want to watch Paramount+, you have to have a subscription to Paramount+. Full stop. No more freeloading.
What you can do, however, is use an existing TV provider subscription — whether it’s cable, satellite, or streaming — to log in to CBS.com and get a live feed of your local CBS affiliate, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, or ET Live.
But it doesn’t get you into Paramount Plus.
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