CBS All Access provides subscribers with a decent selection of live programming, on-demand content and original shows. But since it only focuses on CBS content, it may not be enough to meet all your streaming needs and cannot act as a replacement for cable. That said, the low cost could still make CBS All Access a worthwhile addition to complement your existing streaming services.
You might have read our CBS All Access review to find out all about what the service offers. But before you decide to commit to a subscription, make sure you get a complete picture of all the pricing and package details as well as the free trials available. This post explores everything you need to know about CBS All Access plans and pricing so you can find out if it’s worth the additional spending.
How much does CBS All Access cost?
You can choose from two types of CBS All Access packages. While these two plans are more or less the same in terms of features and content lineup, the pricier option comes with a few premium functionalities such as offline viewing and an ad-free experience for on-demand programming.
|Limited Commercials||Commercial Free|
|Free trial length||7 days||7 days|
|Number of channels||4||4|
|Number of simultaneous streams||2||2|
|Cloud DVR storage||No||No|
|Live sports available||Yes||Yes|
|Number of user profiles per account||1||1|
|No ads (on-demand content only)||No||Yes|
CBS All Access packages and pricing
The basic CBS All Access plan costs $5.99/mo., but you can save around 15% by getting an annual subscription for $59.99/yr. That means you only pay $4.99/mo. with the annual plan. With the basic CBS All Access package, you get access to four channels of live TV from CBS as well as 150+ full-length movies. Plus, you get 15,000+ episodes of currently-airing shows and complete past seasons. That means you get to binge on classic shows and exclusive originals alike.
Some of the featured titles on CBS All Access include Big Brother, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Picard, Survivor and The Twilight Zone. And you even get a decent collection of kid-friendly content such as Bob the Builder, Danny Phantom, Lassie, Mr. Magoo and The Legend of Korra.
Since the on-demand shows will have ad interruptions, you have the option to upgrade to the Commercial Free plan. This premium CBS All Access plan costs just $4/mo. more at $9.99/mo. But you can also get the annual subscription instead for $99.99/yr. and end up paying around $8/mo.
Besides giving you an ad-free experience for on-demand content, the premium CBS All Access package also lets you download select titles to watch offline. Keep in mind, however, that even the Commercial Free plan doesn’t fully exempt you from commercial interruptions. You still get ads on live TV programming and some promotional messaging on select shows.
Other than these major differences, the two plans share similar features. For instance, they both allow up to two simultaneous streams. And neither of them offers cloud DVR storage capabilities, so you won’t be able to record live TV programming to watch later. While you might consider this a drawback, both versions of the service cost less than $10/mo., so such limitations make sense.
In addition, CBS All Access also offers a student discount that allows you to save 25% on monthly subscriptions to the Limited Commercials plan. So if you’re a student, you might want to take advantage of this offer as you’ll only end up spending around $4.50/mo. to stream live programming and on-demand content from CBS All Access.
CBS All Access add-ons
CBS All Access previously gave the option to bundle your subscription with Showtime for $14.99/mo. or $18.99/mo. for the Commercial Free plan. So you could save a few dollars per month by bundling the two services together. But at the time of writing this post, it no longer provides the Showtime add-on. And it doesn’t offer any other add-on channels or services at this point.
However, you can combine CBS All Access with Amazon Prime Video for the same price as a subscription to the standalone service. Although you won’t get any discounts by combining the two services, this could be a great way to manage your streaming subscriptions and billing in one place.
CBS All Access pricing compared
With plans starting at just $5.99/mo. there’s no doubt that CBS All Access is one of the least expensive live TV streaming services out there. But with its channel offering only limited to CBS programming, it doesn’t particularly hold up well against services designed to replace cable. So rather than a cable alternative, CBS All Access makes more sense as a complementary service.
Price-wise, Philo comes closest to CBS All Access compared to other major live TV streaming services with a $20/mo. price tag. Philo only offers one plan, but you can get 58 channels, which is far more than the four channels that CBS All Access offers. And you also get other features like unlimited cloud DVR for 30 days and three simultaneous streams, proving that you don’t necessarily have to choose between affordability and premium functionalities.
CBS All Access also costs much less than the most basic Sling TV plan, which costs $30/mo. However, Sling TV has a slightly more limited programming lineup than most of the major services.
For instance, Sling Orange only offers 30+ channels and focuses on sports and family-friendly programming. And Sling Orange offers 50+ channels, mainly focusing on news and entertainment content. Sling Orange + Blue gives you the best of both plans and costs $45/mo. That’s over seven times the price of a basic CBS All Access subscription.
At $49.99/mo., YouTube TV costs almost the same as an annual subscription to the basic CBS All Access plan. But it comes with a few standout features that you don’t get with CBS All Access, such as unlimited cloud DVR for nine months and up to three simultaneous streams.
So it makes more sense as a replacement to your cable subscription, especially since it already has a decent selection of CBS programming in its lineup. That said, it won’t have some CBS All Access originals that are exclusive to the service.
As for Hulu + Live TV, a one-month subscription to the service costs almost the same as an annual subscription to CBS All Access Limited Commercials at $54.99/mo. That’s not to say that its offering of 65+ channels isn’t worth the investment. And CBS All Access’ channel lineup pales in comparison. Plus, you get most of the CBS programming such as CBS, CBSN and CBS Sports Network with a Hulu + Live TV subscription.
fuboTV is another leader in the live TV streaming industry, and its most basic plan costs the same as Hulu + Live TV. And with 100+ channels in the standard fuboTV lineup, the CBS All Access offering doesn’t quite compare.
Full-fledged live TV streaming aside, CBS All Access holds up well against standalone streaming services like EPIX NOW, HBO Max, Showtime and STARZ, especially in terms of pricing. EPIX NOW costs the same as a basic CBS All Access subscription at $5.99/mo., and it doesn’t offer any other plan variations.
Since HBO Max offers premium programming, it costs quite a bit more at $14.99/mo. And it offers some exclusive content through the app in addition to regular HBO programming. Showtime, being another premium streaming service, costs slightly more than CBS All Access and will set you back around $10.99/mo.
As for a standalone STARZ subscription, it may cost a few dollars more than CBS All Access at $8.99/mo. But it also offers a few premium functionalities such as four simultaneous streams. And this default plan even lets you download videos for offline viewing, which CBS All Access only offers with the Commercial Free plan.
Sign-up for a CBS All Access free trial
When it comes to free trial length and terms, CBS All Access isn’t all that different from most other live TV streaming services. Both standalone services and more comprehensive streaming packages typically offer a free trial for seven days. And CBS All Access does the same, providing you with one week to explore its content offering and streaming experience.
Every now and then, the service gets extra generous and offers extended free trials to new subscribers. At one point, it even offered a free trial that extended to 60 days. That’s two whole months of free access to the impressive lineup of CBS programming, which includes 150+ movies and 15,000+ episodes of past and present TV series as well as live TV.
On its own, CBS All Access may not be enough to replace cable since its channel and content offering pales in comparison to that of full-fledged services. But at just $5.99/mo., it could be an excellent addition to a more inclusive live TV streaming package, especially for fans of CBS programming.
So sign up for your CBS All Access free trial today and consider adding it as a complementary service to your fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Philo or Sling TV subscription. But don’t forget to try out other standalone streaming options like EPIX NOW, HBO Max, Showtime or STARZ to see which one you like best.