Skip to main content

Paramount Plus price drop is coming June 7 — but there's a catch

Paramount Plus
(Image credit: Paramount Plus)

On June 7, Paramount Plus' ad-supported package will get cheaper for new subscribers, but with an annoying catch. Live CBS channels will no longer be included in the new entry-level Paramount Plus package, dubbed "Paramount+ Essential." 

This isn't surprising, as this difference was mentioned when Paramount Plus launched earlier this year. But for those who don't keep track of press releases, the different tiers may something of a surprise: we just got re-confirmation of this change from an email Paramount Plus is sending out to subscribers, one of whom is currently on the Limited Commercials plan.

Existing Paramount Plus subscribers on the service's $5.99 per month Limited Commercials plan will not be affected. They're grandfathered in, and locked in — that is, unless they cancel and resubscribe after June 7.

Paramount Plus plans

Paramount Plus planLimited CommercialsEssentialCommercial Free
Price$5.99 per month$4.99 per month$9.99 per month
On demand contentYesYesYes
Live CBS stationsYesNoYes
AdsYesYesOnly in live TV and select shows
AvailableUntil June 7Starting June 7 and laterNow

So, if you want live CBS TV without paying full price, the choice is pretty clear. Subscribe before June 7 ... and stay subscribed until you're OK with letting go of the $1 per month discount. 

Because once you do, you'll need to get the $9.99 per month Commercial Free package, which Paramount Plus notes does have limited ads. Specifically, Paramount Plus' FAQ page notes that "live TV streams have commercials, and a few shows include brief promotional interruptions to keep you in the loop on new and upcoming Paramount+ programming."

This is the latest bit of consumer-facing advertising news in the world of streaming. Last week, HBO Max announced its ad-supported $9.99 per month tier, which won't have the big same-day movie releases that bring theatrical movies to the streaming service. It's also coming this June.

It's not exactly surprising that these services are keeping their (arguably) strongest features behind higher paywalls, but it does make their entry-level pricing a little less sincere. High-profile movies such as Godzilla vs Kong and Wonder Woman 1984 likely drove subscriptions for HBO Max, and we're guessing that cord-cutters were happy to find an affordable way to keep CBS and watch live sports.

More: Everything to know about Umbrella Academy season 3

Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past six-plus years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.