In 2021, ViacomCBS did a revamp of its popular CBS All Access streaming service. What was once CBS All Access is now Paramount+. That change came with more than just a new title and a new logo. ViacomCBS also added a ton of new Paramount Pictures content, content from other brands that it owns, and even better, expanded into more live TV. Now, Paramount+ live TV options include local CBS channels, news, entertainment, and sports.
The Paramount+ live TV catalog is likely going to continue growing beyond 2021, but for now, let’s explore all of your live TV streaming options currently available through Paramount+.
CBS launched its own streaming service called CBS All Access in 2014. In 2019, CBS merged with Viacom, which owned the historic Paramount Pictures brand and all of its content. As a result of that merger, the newly-formed ViacomCBS decided to give its CBS All Access streaming service a facelift that included a name change to Paramount+, a new logo, thousands of more on-demand videos, and importantly, an expanded selection of live TV channels.
Now, Paramount+ is a low-cost live TV/on-demand streaming service that’s still mostly unique in the cord-cutting environment. But its success has other broadcasters on notice, with NBC launching a live TV/on-demand hybrid in 2020 (Peacock), and Fox Entertainment purchasing and repurposing Tubi TV into a live TV/on-demand hybrid starting in 2021 with live NFL broadcasts.
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Paramount+ Live TV Channels
Under CBS All Access, ViacomCBS offered local CBS broadcast channels to most cities in the US. The service was fairly simple. Once you signed up, CBS All Access would use your location data to give you a live feed of the CBS channel in your region. So if you live in Houston, Texas, you’d get live online streaming access to the popular KHOU CBS 11 network.
With Paramount+, however, you get even more. Thanks to the expansion of the service, your Paramount+ Live TV options include:
- Local CBS broadcast networks
- CBSN (CBS News)
- CBS Sports HQ
- ET Live
- Select sporting events
Let’s dig a bit more into each of these live TV options.
Local CBS broadcast networks
Paramount+ offers your local broadcast network based on your current location. As such, the account is not tied to one location. So you can travel anywhere in the US and still get access to your local CBS broadcast network. The only limitation is that some cities may not have a local CBS broadcast network for you to watch that’s affiliated with Paramount+ or ViacomCBS. In those cases, you may not have a CBS channel available through Paramount+.
The only other methods to get local CBS broadcasts are to use an over-the-air digital antenna, paying for a basic or expanded cable TV service, or signing up for a live internet TV streaming service that offers CBS, such as Hulu + Live. Paramount+ is unequivocally the cheapest way to get live CBS broadcasts with an entry point of just $9.99/month for the Commercial Free option.
Not sure what your local CBS network is, or if your city has one over the air? Check the local TV guides section in the Flixed TV Guide.
CBSN on Paramount+
The CBSN network is the shorthand for CBS News. This network has traditionally been available only as a cable TV network. This is a 24/7 news channel that covers both national and international news. CBSN is available free through other services, as well, including PlutoTV.
CBS Sports HQ on Paramount+
CBS Sports HQ is similar to ESPNews. It’s a 24/7 sports news channel with sports-industry journalists, sports figures, and other talking heads doing what sports news people do: talk sports all day, every day. As with CBSN, this channel is not region-specific, so you’ll get the same coverage everywhere.
ET Live on Paramount+
Variations on a theme here: ET Live is a 24/7 news channel that focuses on pop culture and entertainment. You can get your daily fix on everything from the latest happenings in Hollywood to the latest fashion faux pas in New York City and more. As with CBSN and CBS Sports HQ, this channel is not regionally specific.
Live sporting events on Paramount+
Among the most exciting upgrades to Paramount+ over CBS All Access is expanded live sporting events. CBS owns broadcast rights to many different league games, such as the National Women’s Soccer League. These events will broadcast as separate live feeds not tied to any other channel. When you go to the “Live TV” section in Paramount+, if any live sports are coming up, you’ll see them listed in the drop-down menu.
How Do I Get Paramount+ Live TV Channels?
Paramount+ has two subscription tiers:
- Limited Commercials: $5.99/month
- Commercial Free: $9.99/month or $99/year
As of this time of writing, both of these packages come with all the live TV options given above. However, sometime in 2021, Paramount+ will have a package shift. At that point, the Limited Commercials package will drop to $4.99/month, but will also lose the local CBS live streams. At that point, if you want local CBS live streams, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the Commercial Free packages (which will remain at the same prices, for the time being).
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10K+ episodes on-demand
Watch CBS & CBSN live
2 simultaneous streams
Does Paramount+ Have a DVR for Live TV?
Although it offers live TV to subscribers, the biggest flaw with Paramount+ is a lack of a DVR option. If you were hoping to DVR your favorite CBS shows, you have two options:
- Watch the live TV episodes on-demand through Paramount+
- Sign up for a multi-channel service that has DVR and carries CBS
Positively, most new episodes of popular CBS shows are made available fairly quickly after they air through Paramount+. You can find them easily by searching or browing the Paramount+ library. However, if you wanted to record something like your local TV news broadcasts, you’ll be a bit out of luck.
Can I Watch Paramount+ Live TV Anywhere?
Yes, you can! The only restriction with watching Paramount+ live TV channels is that the local CBS broadcast will change depending on your location data. When you sign into your Paramount+ account and go to “Live TV”, you won’t be able to watch anything until the website knows your location.
Part of this check is just to make sure that there’s a local CBS broadcast available in your area. If there isn’t, you can still watch the other local channels that are available through Paramount+ (CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, ET Live, and select live sports streams).
Can I watch Paramount+ Live TV on Any Device?
There are no device-specific restrictions for watching Paramount+ live TV channels beyond the pre-existing operating system restrictions that already exist for general app usage. Any device that you can use to load Paramount+ or download and run the Paramount+ app will allow you to watch live TV.
Can I Watch Paramount+ Live TV Content on Multiple Devices?
Yes, but with limits. Paramount+ offers simutlaneous streaming on 3 devices for all types of streaming, including live TV and on-demand. That device limit applies to both the Limited Ads and Commercial Free subscription tiers.