CBS All Access Announces Commercial-Free Subscription

Your upcoming trek to the stars just got fewer pit stops.

CBS has launched a commercial-free version of its CBS All Access streaming service, which in the coming months will offer a home to a special fall edition of Big Brother, launch a new Star Trek adventure and spin off The Good Wife.

Whereas the existing standard subscription runs $5.99/month, subscribers can watch CBS All Access’s on-demand content, commercial-free, for $9.99/month.

The commercial-free plan allows access to CBS All Access’s on-demand library of more than 7,500 TV episodes as well as the aforementioned original series, including Bryan Fuller’s much-anticipated Star Trek: Discovery.

That said, CBS All Access’s live-streaming of local CBS stations, which is available in more than 150 U.S. markets, will continue to feature the same commercials as the over-the-air broadcast, while select on-demand shows will include “promotional interruptions.” So, “largely commercial-free.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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60 Comments
  1. NC says:

    About time CBS gets with the program! Although people who already pay for CBS with their cable subscription should be able to access CBS on demand just like every other network without having to pay for it again!

    • Don J. says:

      Only problem with that is CBS On Demand (via Directv) is only in standard definition and is flooded with commercials to fill a normal 1 hour broadcast. It’s unwatchable on an HDTV being in SD and not letterbox.

    • jp says:

      Exactly. I already pay enough for entertainment – I will not shell out more to CBS.

    • erik says:

      About time? No, this is all about ripping off people. Although I’m happy to get Trek back on TV, it should be commercial free at ANY price. And this should be put on demand after it airs “live” on CBS all access. Hopefully ST:D will be on itunes.

      • This is the same price as Netflix and cheaper than commercial free Hulu. Not sure what you’re complaining about.

        • Temperance says:

          Charging a lot for no content. That’s what it’s about.

        • Derision says:

          Comparing CBS All Access to Netflix – apples and oranges

        • Donna says:

          I doubt once taxes are added on that this will be cheaper than Hulu, even so, Hulu has much better streaming capabilities, a 10 second rewind which I cannot believe CBS doesn’t offer. Plus, Hulu offers a ton of TV shows from various networks along with movies, specials and Hulu originals.

          • Me says:

            Taxes are included. You can rewind with cbs all access just like you can on netflix and hulu. And something a lot of people don’t know about is that hulu is owned by fox, abc and nbc together and that is why you get such variety.

        • I already pay a cable and NETFLIX bill. Most of what is on the CBS thing is somewhere else already. I would pay $1 week for the new “wife” series. The first episode was great!

    • Jim says:

      It’s a start, but the price point is still wrong. They don’t get to charge the equivalent of Netflix with nowhere near the quality of service or content. $4.00 a month, no ads, max. Or we’ll all just find other ways of watching for free.

      • They’ll have plenty more originals moving forward. Netflix was $7.99 with just movies and the first few years they only had a handful of shows before their current monster load.

        If The Good Wife’s spinoff and Star Trek are successes, and I expect them to, there will be more originals.

        Right now CBS All Access is more about the classics you can get (Twin Peaks, I Love Lucy, The Brady Bunch, Taxi) than fresh content.

        • Walter Freeman says:

          They’ll have plenty more? Okay, Carnac, if you say so! It’s equally possible that All Access will be an abject failure and CBS will kill off online only shows after twelve months. I loved TGW as much as anyone else, but in terms of ratings, it was always a loss leader. Prestige drama subsidized for the sake of Emmy nominations and network stature. CBS is deluding themselves if they think an eight year spin off can serve as a successful tentpole for launching an expensive online streaming service. Same goes for ST:D too. Enterprise didn’t save UPN after they merged with CBS. I’d expect the same here.

          • Highly unlikely. Even if that show fails more will be ordered.

            CBS has had this service for a little while now, just because they now have original content doesn’t mean it’s going to be the deciding factor as to whether they keep it or not. Networks know they need these online portals and unless Netflix and Hulu’s businesses go under in the next five years, they’re not going anywhere.

            ABC chose to launch ABCD quietly and for free. NBC is going under the radar with their Seeso, which is pretty much only English shows.

            As for the ratings, most online shows do not get comparable ratings to TV. The Good Wife has outdrawn every Netflix show in viewership, but there are different standards between TV and internet.

            The biggest issue is if it can attract a younger viewership as that’s what it will need to survive. Some of it’s older fans will check it out, but a lot of them still aren’t ready to adapt to a streaming site.

  2. Evan. says:

    This is pretty good news. CBS All Access is a nightmare. The many promotional interruptions are a nuisance in and of itself but what makes them cringe worthy and unbearable is the fact that the commercials are a zillion decibels higher than the show one is watching. You can’t watch a show on CBS All Access without the remote in your hands. I canceled a week in.

  3. Yeah, i’m still not paying $6 a month to watch one tv show. I’m definitely not paying $10 to watch that show without commercials, something that shouldve been a given with the $6 sub.

  4. Donna Salvi says:

    Seems like those of us who get CBS through our cable service are being punished. Am I understanding it correctly that we won’t be able to see the new Star Trek show unless we pay for it?

    • Don J. says:

      The 1st episode will air on TV. The remaining 12 will be exclusive to the streaming service.

      • Michael Summerset says:

        Initially. I suspect the show will make it to TV within six months, if that. And non-US stations will carry it in full. It could wind up that it airs on AA a week before it airs on TV or at least Netflix. CBS will have to deal with piracy if they don’t make it available reasonably quickly.

  5. datdudemurphy says:

    I’m still not buying a CBS stand alone service.

    • Andrea says:

      Me either. This isn’t the same as Hulu and Netflix. The entire model of those providers is to stream. CBS already exists in broadcast form (which people do pay for in their cable packages. I’d love to see The Good Wife spin-off, but I refuse to pay for a standalone service for a broadcast network. Now, I’d understand if the streaming platform would be used for fans who wanted to see it immediately. However, it should show up on the network at some point. CBS is just going to try to put all of the good programs on the streaming service. Netflix, Hulu, and HBO have always been subscription services. CBS should not be allowed to strip its broadcast channel to turn itself into a subscription service.

      • Me says:

        Something that you probably didn’t know is that abc, nbc and fox own hulu collectively so they are basically doing the same thing as cbs.

        • tazzyd215 says:

          But they h offer so much more programming than CVS All Access, which is really not even all access. Some of their shows are only available to watch for 2-3 days before they’re moved to Amazon Prime.

    • Andrea says:

      Me either…not even for The Good Wife spinoff.

  6. I am actually into this. I got the CBS All Access app this summer so I am able to watch the Big Brother live feeds and am able to watch past Big Brother seasons. I’ve also been interested in a few shows on CBS that are not available on Hulu or Neflix like Scorpion and honestly the commercials are a pain when you try to binge watch. I get why some people wouldn’t be interested in this, but for me the convenience is really worth it!

    • B says:

      I have been binge watching older seasons of Big Brother in the background while working, and it was getting to the point as soon as commercial breaks kicked in, I ripped my headphones out until they were done. I really don’t want to hear an ad for painful intercourse cream ever again, thanks.

  7. Jane says:

    I don’t know anyone that is even willing to pay $5.99. Can’t imagine paying $10.00.

  8. As a Star Trek fan I find it infuriating the way CBS handles the property. First they charge over $100 a season for the TNG Blu-Rays, $40-$50 more than what big budget HBO series like GOT cost. X-files is a perfect comp and Fox launched them at $20 a season, then CBS blames poor sales figures on lack on interest and thus refuses to remaster DS9 and Voyager. Now this new series will die a death as well because no one outside of the most diehard Trek fans will be willing to pay $10 a month for 4 episodes of a single show that most of us think sounds a bit too much like Enterprise / JJ’s films and not enough like the Prime continuity. Their greed and self sabotage of the property is insane.

    • Don J. says:

      Star Trek Discovery is 13 episodes. Over 3 months, that’s $30, which is about the same price you could purchase a cable series a la carte via Amazon. Also, this streaming service isn’t just about Star Trek. It features most of CBS’s current and back catalog of shows both scripted and unscripted.

  9. Scott Bierworth says:

    I have a feeling that Star Trek: Discovery is going to give Game of Thrones a run for it’s money in the most torrented show competition.

    They’ve really, really overpriced their service. You can get a LOT more quality original programing and other shows and movies, without commercials, for less with Netflix. I always buy the shows I really like (DVD/Blu-Ray/Streaming) so better to just wait and own it.

    • Michael Summerset says:

      Not likely. First of all, it might not be that good. Secondly, it will be easier for many countries to access outside the US. Canada will have it on a cable channel and most others will have it on Netflix. HBO isn’t available in most countries which is why GoT is so heavily downloaded.

  10. The only reason I’m sub is Star Trek: Discovery

  11. dman6015 says:

    You might have to get used to this everywhere. If CBS is successful, look for the other networks to do the same. May be a day when NOTHING is broadcast over the air.

  12. erik says:

    This whole thing is BS, commercial free or not.

  13. Rich says:

    Yes, but will everything on Sunday be shifted a half-hour to an hour late? It would hardly be CBS without that.

  14. Michael Summerset says:

    Should a subscription service really have ads? In effect, one is paying to watch ads.

  15. Mark says:

    I don’t have cable. I pay for CBS AA to get a local feed station for news, weather, etc. It just so happens that I also watch Big Brother, and am looking forward to the new Star Trek and Good Wife spin-off shows. I also pay for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and I am never without something to watch. It works for me.

  16. PatriciaLee says:

    Well, the husband really wants to see Jake and the Fat Man, so if it is something available on Comcast, too, we’ll grudgingly fork out the money.

  17. Temperance says:

    Or you wait wait fifteen minutes and watch whatever for free. Sorry, I don’t watch regular CBS (or even like CBS), why would I pay all that for one show? If anything, If the Trek is good, I’ll buy it on BluRay when the whole season is released anyway.

  18. Pia says:

    I did the free trial, but most of the shows I watch weren’t even available in full seasons.

  19. JC1 says:

    I understand people being frustrated about this if they only want to watch one show. But, while I did initially grumble about CBS All Access when it was first announced, it’s turned out to be worth it for me. I don’t have live TV, and I follow about six shows on CBS currently. Most of their shows have the full season available rather than just the last five, which is nice. And I get live streaming in my area, so I can watch live if I happen to be home. So I like it. I don’t know if I’ll sign up for the commercial free option yet, but it’s tempting.

  20. That price is so depressing for the lack of content they have. I remember being at my friends house checking out the app and they had almost none of their shows on there. I believe 2 broke girls & Mom wasn’t on there at all and Big Bang had only a select few episodes. I mean, if your going to pay $6 for an app, wouldn’t you want it to catch up on seasons of shows you wouldn’t be able to watch on Netflix or Hulu?

    Although $6 is still a bit pricey, I would gladly pay that for their whole library of current shows and for it to be commercial free. But IMO they are not being smart with this. Lower your commercial plan to $4, add commercial free for $6, create new content like Star Trek and in 5 years once you’ve earned the right to do so, raise the price.

  21. Mike says:

    Since when is a “Promotional Interruption” not a commercial? You’re charging and extra $4 a month to interrupt a program to tell me about other CBS programs? I call BS on this. If I pay the extra, I do not want to be interrupted. Only a media company would come up with this baloney.

  22. Lynne says:

    I’m extremely disappointed in CBS streaming online. It cuts off several times during an evening and the commercials are excessive, which are never cut off. The programming come on for a couple minutes and then goes back to several more commercials! Are you trying to force us to pay more to upgrade to commercial free on Demand?its either that or drop it entirely. Totally frustrated with it! It’s the only service that causes us trouble!

    • River33 says:

      I completely agree with you Lynne, in fact, I said the exact same thing you posted!! Even trying to watch the video/show a few days later, the show still freezes and the commercials play fine, half the time I have no idea what’s going on with the show but I sure know what the commercials are, especially that Trivago one that’s 10x’s louder then the programming!! It’s the only one that causes me problems too!!

  23. I have local cable. I would be willing to pay a dollar a episode for the new “wife” series. Everything else you have on there I have on my NETFLIX. Really disappointed with this because I was just stunned to see that Diane’s new company is black owned.