×

ViacomCBS to Expand CBS All Access Streaming Platform With More Cable Content

ViacomCBS plans to expand and possibly rebrand the CBS All Access subscription service with more content from MTV, Comedy Central and other traditional Viacom cable channels.

ViacomCBS is expected to unveil a broader streaming strategy on its Feb. 20 earnings call, which will mark the company’s first financial report since the reunion of Viacom and CBS Corp. was completed in December.

The company is looking to build on the foundation of CBS All Access to develop a broader streaming offering that would be a mix of subscription and advertising-supported content. Now that the companies are joined, there’s a big push to leverage all of its assets to transform the company for the on-demand era. ViacomCBS also aims to give a bigger streaming platform to its assets in news and sports programming in an effort to differentiate its offering from the plethora of entertainment-focused streaming players.

ViacomCBS declined to comment.

The plan that is shaping up calls for the platform to add programs from MTV, Comedy Central, BET and other prominent cablers under the ViacomCBS umbrella to make the CBS All Access platform more attractive to a broader range of subscribers. ViacomCBS is also evaluating options for melding CBS All Access with its newly acquired Pluto TV service, which serves up a wide range of ad-supported on-demand content from the ViacomCBS vault and other content owners.

CBS All Access is offered at present for $5.99 with commercials included or $9.99 for the ad-free option. It’s unclear whether ViacomCBS will rename All Access or boost the pricing on the platform. CBS All Access in late November added on-demand access to a number of kid-friendly programs from Viacom’s Nickelodeon in an effort to better round out its programming menu. Sources said CBS All Access is a natural platform for next-day access to shows such as Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” or any of MTV’s buzzy reality series.

But even as it looks to grow bigger in streaming, ViacomCBS will not make the full linear feeds of its cable channels available in the same way that CBS All Access offers 24/7 live linear streams from CBS affiliate stations around the country — another dimension that separates CBS All Access from its competition. The company in some cases is restricted from offer its suite of cable channels on a purely over the top platform by its carriage deals with major MVPDs such as Comcast, Charter and DirecTV. The burgeoning ViacomCBS plan resembles NBCUniversal’s strategy to seed an audience for the largely ad-supported Peacock streaming venture set to launch on April 15.

The film vault of Viacom’s Paramount Pictures will also be a rich source of content for an expanded streaming offering, although the first pay-TV window for the studio’s new theatrical output is contractually bound to MGM’s Epix for the near term.

Moreover, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish has been on a fence-mending tour of major distributors over the past few years since he took the reins of Viacom. At a time when the company’s stock price has taken a double-digit drop, ViacomCBS can’t afford to put a strain on its newly improved relationships with the distributors that provide the lion’s share of the company’s earnings.

CNBC first reported on the movement in ViacomCBS’ streaming strategy.

(Pictured: “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah”)

More Biz

  • Andrew Weatherall at Caught by the

    British DJ-Producer Andrew Weatherall Dies at 56

    British music producer, DJ and record-label founder Andrew Weatherall, who co-produced Primal Scream’s landmark 1991 album “Screamadelica” and helped bring the acid house genre into the mainstream, died Monday in a London hospital from a pulmonary embolism, his management confirmed to the Guardian. He was 56. “He was being treated in hospital but unfortunately the [...]

  • Bertelsmann CEO Says RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 Should

    Bertelsmann CEO Says RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 Should Be Free to Merge

    The CEO of German media giant Bertelsmann has said its RTL Group TV division should be allowed to merge with German rival ProSiebenSat.1 and called for a loosening of E.U. antitrust regulations in order to better stave off intensifying competition from U.S. streaming giants. In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published on [...]

  • Politicians and Petition Support BBC Following

    Politicians and Petition Support BBC Following Reports of Major Cuts

    A war of words around the future of the BBC continued on Monday amid reports of severe cutbacks to the U.K. public broadcaster. The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Downing Street, the seat of the U.K. government, was planning to replace the annual BBC license fee with a subscription service; sell most of [...]

  • Sharp Objects

    Entertainment One Commits to Drama: 'Hasbro Bought the Business to Expand It'

    “Sharp Objects” and “Run” producer-distributor Entertainment One is reassuring partners of its commitment to drama following its acquisition by toy giant Hasbro. EOne has always cultivated a strong set of procedurals, such as ABC’s Nathan Fillion-starrer “The Rookie” and Fox’s Stephen Dorff-led “Deputy,” but has also gained traction with cable propositions such as HBO’s “Sharp [...]

  • United States President Barack Obama (L)

    Barack Obama on Kobe Bryant's Death: 'Nothing Is More Heartbreaking'

    President Barack Obama spoke about the heartbreaking deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and the seven other victims of the shocking helicopter crash last month. “That loss is something that I know many are still grappling with — particularly, Kobe, because he was with his daughter and those families and those children. And those [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    How to Get Tickets to the Kobe and Gianna Bryant Memorial Service

    The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that fans that wish to attend the public memorial of Kobe and Gianna Bryant can register for tickets online beginning Friday. The memorial will take place at 10 a.m. on Feb. 24 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among the nine killed in a helicopter [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    R. Kelly Hit With New Charges Alleging Sexual Abuse Against a Minor

    R. Kelly has been hit with new federal charges in Chicago, alleging that he sexually abused a minor female for four years, beginning in 1997, according to the Chicago Tribune. The superseding indictment, which was made public Friday, alleged Kelly sexually abused a girl who was identified as “Minor 6.” Kelly is already in prison [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content