CBS All Access review

CBS All Access highlights

CBS All Access review

Cable cord-cutters can get the best of both on-demand content and live TV with CBS All Access. The video streaming service offers a strong library of CBS’s past and present programming, but viewing options beyond that are limited in comparison with some of its competitors.

CBS All Access launched on October 28, 2014, as a streaming portal and mobile app for all CBS content. The service extended to Canada in April 2018, and to Australia in December 2018, under the name 10 All Access. As of February 2019, the service had reached four million total subscribers. CBS has set a goal of reaching 25 million subscribers by 2022. 

Sign up for CBS All Access
Start a 7-day free trial

Enjoy access to over 15,000+ episodes of CBS content, including premium shows like The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and The Twilight Zone. NFL Games are also included. Starting at just $5.99, CBS All Access provides quality content at a respectable price.

Why CBS All Access might be the right streaming service for you

If you’re particularly committed to CBS’s programming, this is certainly the right service for you. Viewers get access to live streams of CBS in addition to 15,000+ episodes from the network’s back catalog on-demand. That includes premium content like The Big Bang Theory, NCIS and The Twilight Zone. NFL games broadcast on CBS are also included—a major bonus for any football fans.

However, the service’s content library, outside of CBS’s programming, is a little limited. So if you’re not a die-hard CBS lover, then this probably isn’t the service for you.

Compare CBS All Access packages and pricing

There are two CBS All Access packages available. Both offer the same content and features, the only major difference is that the pricier option provides ad-free, on-demand content.

If you’re happy to sit through a few ads while watching on-demand content, you can get a decent deal with CBS All Access. Its Limited Commercials Plan is three dollars less than the cheapest Netflix and Amazon Prime Video packages available (both $8.99/mo.). The Commercial Free Plan is one dollar more expensive. However, unlike other video streaming services, CBS All Access also enables users to stream live TV.

The CBS All Access price is also reduced with an annual contract. It costs $59.99/yr. for limited commercials and $99.99/yr. for the commercial-free version. And students enjoy a 25 percent discount on all package prices.

Here’s a look at the two CBS All Access packages available:

Limited CommercialsCommercial Free
Monthly price$5.99$9.99
Free trial length7 days7 days
Number of channels44
Number of simultaneous streams22
Cloud DVR storageNoneNone
Add-ons availableNoYes
Offline viewingNoYes

CBS All Access bundles, deals and free trials

CBS currently offers a special price when you bundle SHOWTIME with your regular subscription and students can save big with a discount on both available plans. Not a student? Don’t worry. Anyone and everyone can try the service out with a 7-day free trial.

Bundle with SHOWTIME and save

CBS All Access gives a discount on SHOWTIME when you add it to your regular subscription. SHOWTIME is usually $10.99/mo. on its own, but with CBS All Access, it’s just $5.99/mo. in addition to your monthly bill.

Students get a 25 percent off deal 

If you’re a student, CBS All Access is a steal. Simply enter the name of your university along with your personal information to save 25 percent on your CBS All Access subscription.

Try CBS All Access with a 7-day free trial

Give either of the two CBS All Access plans a test run for seven days when you sign up for a subscription. If you don’t like the plan you try out, change or cancel it any time.

Device compatibility

CBS All Access is available on most popular streaming devices, so if you’re looking to add CBS All Access to your existing set-up, don’t fret. 

Here’s a list of the devices that are compatible with CBS All Access:

CBS All Access features

CBS All Access may not be as robust as other streaming competitors like Netflix and Hulu, but it still offers some good features when it comes to content and price.

All CBS content

The obvious appeal of CBS All Access is the availability of 15,000+ episodes of CBS content. In addition to on-demand programming and new shows, viewers also get access to live CBS broadcasts. Get to know all the available CBS shows through the platform.

Download to watch offline

To watch on the go without WiFi or service, use the Download & Play feature to save your favorite content on your device. Download up to 25 episodes or movies to watch the next time you’re on a flight or long road trip. This feature is only available with the Commercial Free plan.

Trekkie heaven

The CBS content library will be particularly appealing to fans of Captain Kirk, Spock and Jean-Luc Picard. That’s because CBS has the rights to the Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Short Trek series. 

Streaming quality

CBS All Access’ 1080p Full HD video streaming provides more than enough clarity for casual viewers. 

Premium sports access

The NFL has a special agreement with CBS All Access that allows subscribers to live stream games every Sunday. The service also carries some NCAA basketball tournament match-ups. Sports fans can stay up-to-date on all the latest news and action with their local CBS network, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ and ET Live 24/7.

What to watch on CBS All Access

There’s plenty of exclusive, original CBS programming to keep you entertained here. One top CBS All Access show is dark comedy-drama, Why Women Kill, that depicts the events that lead up to a death after the husbands of three women commit adultery.

Another content exclusive is CBS All Access’s first original scripted series The Good Fight, a sequel to The Good Wife. The legal drama follows a financial scam that ruins the reputation of a young lawyer and her mentor, who then joins a prestigious firm that takes on police brutality cases in Illinois. Michael Sheen has appeared as a guest star, and Ridley Scott is an executive producer.

Subscribers can also watch comedy series No Activity, which includes Will Ferrell among its executive producers. It follows two policemen tasked with busting a Mexican drug cartel and is based on an Australian series of the same name.

Other viewing options include hit CBS dramas Blue Bloods, Madam Secretary and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Our hot take

CBS All Access offers subscribers a wealth of quality CBS content at a respectable price. This includes a huge back catalog of TV programming and exclusive new CBS shows, as well as live broadcasts and coverage of NFL for sports fans. However, if CBS programming isn’t for you, then you may be better off looking at alternative options. Likewise, if you’re on the lookout for a healthy library of movies or a steady stream of live sports, then this isn’t the service for you.

Sign up for CBS All Access
Start a 7-day free trial

Enjoy access to over 15,000+ episodes of CBS content, including premium shows like The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and The Twilight Zone. NFL Games are also included. Starting at just $5.99, CBS All Access provides quality content at a respectable price.

Rob Latham

Rob Latham is a writer focused on technology, music, entertainment and sports. He is particularly passionate about the role that technology plays in improving peoples’ lives and helping businesses to work more effectively. He’s written marketing content for global B2B technology brands and start-ups, founded his own music blog and is a regular contributor to soccer publications. His professional background is in content marketing, public relations and journalism, and he has a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.