Lookout Hulu: ‘CBS All Access’ Targets Cord Cutters

CBS All Access for digital streaming

CBS is changing the way Americans watch broadcast television. In a big move, the network giant has announced “CBS All Access,” a new digital streaming service offering programming on demand specifically aimed at millennials who are typically cord cutters.

It’s an amazing line up. For only $5.99/month, subscribers will have instant, on-demand access to thousands of episodes of both current and classic shows. The network is offering complete seasons of 15 current primetime shows with episodes on tap the day after broadcast. In addition, eight current primetime shows, including Blue Bloods, Survivor and The Good Wife will include full prior seasons as well.

Special events like the Grammy Awards, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and the Academy of Country Music Awards will be available when they air. More than 5,000 episodes of CBS classics like Star Trek, Cheers, MacGyver, Twin Peaks, and CSI: Miami are shown ad free.

It’s not exactly all access, however, because some CBS programming will not be on hand for digital subscribers to stream. Variety reports that previous seasons of The Big Bang Theory won’t be on All Access as its rights are controlled by Warner Bros. You won’t be able to watch NFL games either.

The service is launching with the ability to live stream local CBS stations in 14 of the largest markets. The network said it will add more live streaming content as affiliates join the service.

This announcement breaks the model used by the three other major networks. To make a streaming service possible for their viewers ABC, NBC and Fox have each taken a stake in Hulu, a catch-all service similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hulu offers two plans for it’s on-demand service. Old programming is shown for free, albeit with ads that cannot be skipped. Current network programming is offered to paid monthly subscribers, who must wait out a one day delay.

Then, the three adopted the TV Everywhere approach for the streaming of their stations. The approach involves what amounts to a partnership with cable and satellite operators. Broadcasters make their signals available for free, but only to “authenticated” local pay TV subscribers in good standing.

With the monthly subscription fee of only $5.99, CBS All Access delivers a streaming service to younger viewers, many of whom are not currently, and never intend to become, cable subscribers. They can watch online or on the go.

The service is online today at CBS.com and on mobile devices through the company’s app for iOS and Android, and CBS is offering a one-week free trial so you can see how you like it. It will be available on “all major digital platforms” in the coming months.

[Photo via CBS]