To say that it’s a great time to be a “cord cutter” would be an understatement, as multiple high-level streaming services now exist to properly meet the needs of those wishing to forgo traditional cable TV, albeit sometimes on a delayed basis. One such service is CBS All Access, which launched back in the fall of 2014. Priced at $5.99 per month, CBS All Access offers users the ability to watch a live feed of their local CBS station, as well as providing access to a sizeable on-demand library of both currently airing and past CBS programs.
Unfortunately for those averse to paying for ads, CBS All Access’ standard offering forces viewers to sit through lengthy commercial breaks during on-demand episodes of all currently airing series, with the amount of ads being comparable to those one would sit through while watching a live broadcast of the show. Naturally, this led many potential subscribers to refuse to join up, citing the unfairness of having to sit through tons of commercials while also simultaneously paying CBS for the privilege of doing so.
That all changed today, with CBS unveiling a commercial-free option for All Access that costs $9.99 per month. Similar to Hulu’s pricing for its commercial free tier, CBS All Access’ commercial-free plan costs $4 more than the service’s standard offering, which will remain $5.99. The new option has been made available immediately, with the CBS All Access sign-up page now including the choice of which plan to subscribe to. Interestingly, it doesn’t appear that the commercial-free option is eligible for the one week free trial that new subscribers are normally granted.
Of course, those eager to sign-up and enjoy commercial-free CBS programming need to make sure they’re aware of an important caveat of the service, which admittedly the website is up-front about. Despite being billed as commercial-free, the new All Access tier won’t entirely be free of ads. According to CBS, a small number of current shows will still include “promotional interruptions,” which will apparently run no longer than 15 seconds each and total no more than 30 seconds in any half-hour of on-demand programming.
CBS has yet to clarify which shows will be subject to these interruptions, although one assumes it would likely be the most popular content, such as The Big Bang Theory or NCIS. It’ll be interesting to see whether this also ends up applying to Star Trek: Discovery, All Access’ highly anticipated first original series. Considering Trek’s incredibly devoted fanbase, CBS is very likely banking on using Discovery to land a large amount of new subscribers, and making the series completely ad-free would certainly serve to please incoming Trekkies.
Source: The Wrap