CBS today announced the launch of a digital subscription video service that will cost consumers $5.99 a month and will offer current and classic CBS programs along with a live stream of the broadcast network.
CBS All Access, distributed via CBS.com and mobile apps, will feature more CBS programming than consumers can currently find online.
Along with full current seasons of 15 prime-time shows — with episodes becoming available on the new service 24 hours after they are aired on the broadcast channel — CBS All Access will offer full past seasons of eight major current series, including “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods” and “Survivor.”
At launch it will also include live streams of local CBS stations in 14 of the top markets, with more to be added later.
CBS Classics, which will be presented without commercials, will also be a part of the package — including more than 5,000 episodes of older shows. Among them are complete series such as “Star Trek,” “Twin Peaks,” “CSI: Miami” and “Cheers.”
Exclusive extra content will be a part of the deal, as will access to “Big Brother” 24/7 Live Feeds. However, “Thursday Night Football” and other NFL content will be excluded, due to the network’s agreement with the league.
In a statement announcing the launch, network President and CEO Leslie Moonves said: “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. 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.”
The Wall Street Journal cites Marc DeBevoise, executive vice president of CBS Interactive, saying that when current programs air on CBS All Access following their initial broadcast on the network, the commercial load will be about 25% less than during the airing on the linear network.
Added DeBevoise: “No one has gone out there and put out a network branded product with the breadth and depth of CBS All Access.”
The WSJ report notes: “Mr. DeBevoise didn’t rule out eventually creating original content for the platform.”
The CBS move comes on the heels of a landmark announcement Wednesday by HBO that it is planning a stand-alone streaming service.