CBS All Access is adding 70 shows — representing more than 3,500 episodes in all — from legacy Viacom cable networks including BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. The additional programming boosts CBS All Access’ title count to more than 20,000 TV episodes and movies, and ViacomCBS plans to up that to over 30,000 by the time it relaunches the service next year.
“It’s the first big step to transform All Access into the super-service we’ve been talking about,” said Marc DeBevoise, president/CEO of ViacomCBS Digital and ViacomCBS’s chief digital officer.
The media conglomerate first announced the plans to expand the programming available in CBS All Access earlier this year to include ViacomCBS cable content, under what it dubbed the “House of Brands” strategy.
The new content, to be available starting Thursday, includes all past seasons of Nick’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” and all seasons of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Rugrats”; all seasons of Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show” and six prior seasons of “Reno 911!”; BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” (all seasons) and all prior seasons of “Single Ladies”; all seasons of MTV’s “Laguna Beach” and “Snooki & Jwoww,” plus prior seasons of “Teen Mom 2,” “Jersey Show: Family Vacation” and “MTV Floribama Shore”; and prior seasons of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
In addition, CBS All Access in 2021 plans to premiere a new original kids’ series, “Kamp Koral,” the first spinoff from Nick’s “SpongeBob SquarePants.” And, as previously announced, CBS All Access will also be the exclusive home to “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run” in early 2021.
With the additional content, the pricing for the service will remain the same: $5.99 per month with ads and $9.99 monthly with no ads (with the exception of commercials in live programming). And, right now, DeBevoise doesn’t expect pricing to change with the rebranding in 2021.
The company doesn’t have a new name yet for CBS All Access, according to DeBevoise, who said ViacomCBS is working with several agencies on the rebranding launch.
One big change coming on the product front: The renamed subscription service will be split off from the CBS broadcast streaming service. Today, CBS All Access is built into the CBS app on most platforms, “and we intend to separate those in the long run,” DeBevoise said.
ViacomCBS will continue to maintain the Showtime standalone streaming product and the Noggin subscription service separately from the super-sized and reskinned CBS All Access.
CBS All Access is adding more content for kids (with Nick) and younger adults (MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and VH1), which will expand the OTT service’s addressable customer base, DeBevoise said: “I think our average age will get younger. Our customer base will get broader.” Later in 2020, he added, the streaming service will add the ability for users to add multiple user profiles — with parental controls enabled for individual profiles.
Earlier this year, CBS All Access added titles from the Paramount Pictures film library, and now offers more than 150 movies including “The Godfather” trilogy, “The Firm,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “Scary Movie.”
Along with the additional content, CBS All Access will roll out a new user interface across major device platforms Thursday. The redesigned UI includes new content categories and central hubs for ViacomCBS’ brands, as well as enhanced personalization and discovery features, including advanced recommendations. In the next few weeks, the guide will add a new “On Now” section highlighting live programming.
CBS All Access’ new user interface with the Comedy Central hub. Credit: ViacomCBS
ViacomCBS hasn’t broken out how many subscribers CBS All Access has. As of the first quarter, the media conglomerate said, the CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services combined have 13.5 million subscribers and are track to hit 16 million by the end of 2020.
The core of CBS All Access’ exclusive content will be its slate of originals and live sports, DeBevoise said, and the company is working to develop original shows from across the ViacomCBS portfolio. Coming in 2021, “Kamp Koral,” from Nickelodeon and United Plankton Pictures, will follow 10-year-old SpongeBob SquarePants and his pals during summer sleepaway camp where they spend their time building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck at the craziest camp in the kelp forest: Kamp Koral.
Original series launching on CBS All Access through the end of the year include: “Star Trek: Lower Decks” (Aug. 6); “Big Brother Live Feeds”; “Star Trek: Discovery” Season 3 (Oct. 15); and limited-event series “The Stand,” based on Stephen King’s 1978 novel (late 2020). Those will join other originals including “Star Trek: Picard,” “The Good Fight,” Jordan Peele’s “The Twilight Zone” revival, and “Why Women Kill.”
Vis-à-vis ViacomCBS’s content library, DeBevoise said the strategy for CBS All Access (and the successor service) is to have the biggest selection of content from its own archives, while the company will still license library titles to partners. For example, ViacomCBS just inked a deal with NBCUniversal’s Peacock for a host of TV shows and Paramount movies on a nonexclusive basis.
ViacomCBS content added to CBS All Access includes:
- BET: All seasons of “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “Hit the Floor,” plus all prior seasons of “Single Ladies” and more
- Comedy Central: All seasons of “Chappelle’s Show,” “Strangers with Candy,” six prior seasons of “Reno 911!” and more
- MTV: All seasons of “Laguna Beach” and “Snooki & Jwoww,” prior seasons of “Teen Mom 2,” seasons of “Jersey Show: Family Vacation” and “MTV Floribama Shore,” and a selection of episodes from “The Challenge,” “Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection” and more
- Nickelodeon: All seasons of “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “Rugrats,” plus all prior seasons of “SpongeBob SquarePants” and more, in addition to seasons of “Danny Phantom,” “The Legend of Korra” and “Sam & Cat” that were previously available
- Smithsonian Channel: More than 60 episodes of “Aerial America,” seasons of “Air Disasters,” documentaries such as “The Day We Walked on the Moon,” “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom,” “MLK: The Assassination Tapes,” “Pocahontas: Beyond the Myth” and more
- TV Land and VH1: Shows including “Hot in Cleveland,” as well as prior seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Love & Hip Hop”
On the sports front, CBS All Access’ expanded lineup kicks off next week with the conclusion of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. ViacomCBS secured UEFA rights through 2024, nabbing them a year early after Turner Sports bailed out.
First launched in October 2014, CBS All Access in addition to its on-demand and sports content lets subscribers live-stream local CBS stations across the U.S. along with ViacomCBS Digital’s other live channels: CBSN, CBS Sports HQ and ET Live.
CBS All Access is available online at cbs.com, on iOS and Android mobile devices, Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, Apple TV, Google’s Chromecast and Android TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Samsung Smart TVs, Comcast Flex, Facebook Portal, Vizio Smartcast TVs, and LG Smart TVs. It’s also available through Amazon Prime Video Channels and Apple TV Channels.
Outside the U.S., versions of CBS All Access have launched in Canada and Australia (where it’s called 10 All Access) with different pricing and content lineups.