CBS Unveils OTT Subscription Service

A day after Home Box Office announced its own ambitious over the top plans, CBS one-upped the premium channel, unveiling All Access, a multi-platform subscription service that for a $5.99 monthly fee will give subscribers access to live and on demand programming from its CBS broadcast network and local TV stations, including shows like The Good Wife and Blue Bloods.

CBS, which will offer access to new shows the day after they air, noted that some sporting events, including NFL coverage are not available for live streaming through CBS All Access. “We are continuing to work towards offering more live programming as part of CBS All Access. In the meantime, when a program is not available to you via CBS All Access, you will see a message that states the program is not currently available,” a FAQ about the new service explains.

Access to CBS’s live stream is limited to the following markets: Baltimore, Md. (WJZ);  Boston, Mass. (Manchester, N.H.) (WBZ); Chicago, Ill. (WBBM); Dallas-Ft. Worth (KTVT); Denver (KCNC); Detroit (WWJ); Los Angeles (KCBS); Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (WFOR); Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (WCCO);  New York, NY (WCBS); Philadelphia (KYW); Pittsburgh (KDKA); Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif. (KOVR); and San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (KPIX).

Consumers currently can’t tap into the All Access service using their TV Everywhere credentials, but “we’re always working hard on new features and would like to add this functionality in the future,” CBS noted.

CBS said All Access features an on-demand library of more than 6,500 episodes, including shows such as 2 Broke Girls, 60 Minutes, The Amazing Race, Big Brother, with ad-free access to older shows such as The Andy Griffith Show, Twin Peaks, The Brady Bunch, Cheers, and Family Ties. In the early going, CBS is offering the service on Web browsers and via an app for iOS- and Android-powered smartphones and tablets.

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.”

ABC also offers access to an on-demand library and access to its live feed in select markets, but is taking a different approach with its Watch ABC app. Instead of selling it direct as a subscription service, Watch ABC is currently an authenticated service offered only to consumers that subscribe to a traditional pay-TV service.