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ViacomCBS Set to Beef Up CBS All Access

CBS All Access features original programs including Star Trek: Picard (Image credit: ViacomCBS)

ViacomCBS is expected to unveil a more aggressive streaming strategy when it announces fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 20, sources said.

The newly merged media company is expected to expand its CBS All Access streaming service, which was the first OTT platform introduced by a broadcast network when it launched back in 2014. 

ViacomCBS will add content from the legacy Viacom channels to the SVOD service, and also put programming from Showtime on a premium tier, sources confirm. 

Movies from the ViacomCBS’s Paramount library will also be part of the offering, but it won’t necessarily be where all Paramount movies land immediately after theatrical release.

It is unclear how much ViacomCBS plans to charge for the new service or its premium tier.

While expanding All Access, ViacomCBS is expected to keep its advertising supported Pluto TV as a free service.

CNBC was the first to report that ViacomCBS planned to expand its streaming business.

Part of the rationale for combining Viacom and CBS, which were both controlled by the family of Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari Redstone, was to create scale in order to compete in a TV business that was moving toward streaming and a direct-to-consumer subscription model.

Under CEO Bob Bakish, the company has been trying to improve its relationships with cable and satellite distributors. Last year, it made a deal to get CBS All-Access integrated into Comcast’s X1 operating system. The company is expected to work closely with its distribution outlets as it rolls out the expanded streaming product.

The company currently operates an over-the-top showtime service. Combined CBS All Access and Showtime over-the-top have more than 10 million subscribers.