What is Paramount Plus? Price, plans, and what to watch 1

Paramount Plus — the streaming service once known as CBS All Access — has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. It started as the streaming home for all things CBS. But executives quickly saw the writing on the well. Streaming was the future, and CBS was an America-only brand.

So in March 2021, a pivot occurred. CBS All Access became Paramount Plus. And soon thereafter, parent company ViacomCBS transitioned into Paramount Global, taking its streaming service worldwide, taking with it exclusive content that otherwise might have remained domestic. (Some still has different global distributors, but that’s another problem for another time.)

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.

The Paramount Plus home screen.
Phil Nickinson/Pro Well Tech

Paramount Plus Price: What does it cost?

Paramount Plus has two main plans: Essential and Premium. There are two main differences: Essential has advertising with most on-demand content, and it lacks any series or movies from Showtime. Premium doesn’t have on-demand ads, and it includes Showtime content. It also provides for some content in 4K resolution, allows for offline downloads, has support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision on supported hardware, and has a live stream of your local CBS affiliate.

The price of the two plans will be going up slightly in late June 2023, at which time the Essential plan will cost $6 a month, and the Premium plan will cost $12 a month.

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.

What devices can you use Paramount Plus on?

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.

What movies are on Paramount Plus?

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.

What shows are on Paramount Plus?

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 Mindsand Young Sheldonand 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: Picardand 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 Kingstownfrom 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.

Can you watch live sports on Paramount Plus?

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 soccerif 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.

A Paramount Plus screen with the show Star Trek: Prodigy on it.

Can you watch Paramount Plus with a cable subscription?

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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