CBS Launching $5.99 On Demand Service

CBS said it is launching CBS All Access, a new digital subscription video-on-demand  service that will cost subscribers $5.99 a month.

CBS All Access is available via and through CBS mobile apps. It allows viewers to watch more CBS programming than is currently available online for consumers. 

For CBS, the service created another way for CBS to monetize its content and for viewing to be measured by Nielsen.

"CBS All Access is another key step in the company's long-standing strategy of monetizing our local and national content in the ways that viewers want it," Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, said in a statement.. "This new subscription service will deliver the most of CBS to our biggest fans while being additive to the overall ecosystem. Across the board, we continue to capitalize on technological advances that help consumers engage with our world-class programming, and we look forward to serving our viewers in this new and exciting way."

CBS says subscribers will have access to:

  • Full current seasons of 15 primetime shows with episodes available the day after they air.
  • Live streams of  local CBS stations in 14 of the largest markets at launch, with more to be added as affiliates join the new service.
  • Full past seasons of eight major current series, including The Good Wife, Blue Bloods and Survivor.
  • More than 5,000 episodes of CBS Classics, including every episode of Star Trek, Cheers, Macgyver, Twin Peaks and CSI: Miami. The classics will be presented without advertising.
  • Access to exclusive additional content for CBS Television's special events, such as The Grammy Awards, The Academy of Country Music Awards and The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
  • Ability to stream the Big Brother  24/7 Live Feeds service for no additional fee when the show returns next summer.

NFL games, like those broadcast duringThursday Night Football, will not be included in CBS All Access. 

"Our focus is to develop the best cross-platform video experience possible," said Jim Lanzone, president and CEO, CBS Interactive.  "We want our audiences to be able to watch CBS's industry-leading content live and on demand whenever and wherever they want. CBS All Access delivers on that promise by giving our audience not only more CBS content, but also more ways to watch in a seamless user experience. We've integrated the service into our existing offerings and look forward to bringing it to all major digital platforms - including additional connected devices - in the coming months."

CBS's announcement comes on the heels of premium cabler HBO's Wednesday (Oct. 15) decision to begin offering an OTT service in 2015

Analyst Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo likened the CBS product to Hulu Plus.

"This is not meant to be a disrupter to the eco-system," Ryviker said. "This allows CBS to take advantage of cord-cutting should the world move that way. This is not expected to hurt traditional syndication or SVOD - this is for the 'uber fan.' Personally, we don't know how many people would actually subscribe to this service but it does give CBS some flexibility down the road."

Ryvicker added that she viewed the moves as a positive for affiliates. "We believe CBS will involve the affiliates by paying them something (not sure how big) for their live feeds and local content. We wouldn't model anything in but do note optionality here," she said.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.