A lot of companies are taking gambles on subscription-based services for mobile devices and desktop use, including, most recently, HBO. However, it appears that an unlikely new player is entering the game as well – the broadcast station CBS.
According to Recode.net, the broadcaster announced its plans to offer a new subscription service that will enable viewers to watch almost any show in its collective, either live as it broadcasts or on demand. The service, CBS All Access, is available for purchase now.
The service won’t require any sort of previous cable subscription. Users can simply pay $6 a month and view whatever programs they wish, from NCIS to The Big Bang Theory, using a number of devices.
This is an interesting move, especially considering that most of CBS’ broadcasting services are available without cost. In addition, viewers can go over and watch most recent episodes on CBS.com without having to endure any additional fees.
There are also certain programs that are being left out, particularly the highly popular National Football League games. There isn’t anything in CBS’ contract with the league that allows it to broadcast games simultaneously on its application.
The service is also only available in certain markets, mainly the 14 cities where CBS owns its local networks completely. These include New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
CBS CEO Les Moonves doesn’t consider this “a shot across the bow” to cable subscribers, but rather a separate service for those looking for easier access to the network’s popular programs.
Plus, it could also open up the opportunity for Moonves’ Showtime network to offer a similar service. “We’re talking about it,” he said. “We’re obviously getting the technical capabilities ready.”
It’s going to be a matter of time before analysts see if CBS can be as successful with streaming services as it is with network services. The lower cost helps, but the limitations of certain programming and markets leave it up in the air when it comes to availability. And hey, some folks just might want to turn on the TV.