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.
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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 plan||Limited Commercials||Essential||Commercial Free|
|Price||$5.99 per month||$4.99 per month||$9.99 per month|
|On demand content||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Live CBS stations||Yes||No||Yes|
|Ads||Yes||Yes||Only in live TV and select shows|
|Available||Until June 7||Starting June 7 and later||Now|
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.
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