ViacomCBS will 'expand' CBS All Access streaming service this year

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish teases that the service will be getting content from Viacom properties like Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
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ViacomCBS plans to add a new streaming service that builds on the current CBS All Access. 

CBS; screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

ViacomCBS is upping its digital offerings with a revamped streaming service to better compete with Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, HBO Max and Peacock in the ongoing streaming wars. The changes will come later this year and build on CBS ' existing All Access streaming service, CEO Bob Bakish said during an earnings conference call Thursday. 

(Disclosure: ViacomCBS is the parent company of CBS Interactive, which owns CNET.)

ViacomCBS, via its earnings release and its official Twitter feed, said the new service will "expand CBS All Access by adding the company's scaled assets in film and TV." First launched in 2014, CBS All Access features CBS programming, a library of older films, and original shows created for the platform, such as The Good Fight and Star Trek: Picard. Available with ads for $6 per month or ad-free for $10, the streaming service also includes the ability to watch live feeds of CBS stations in select markets. 

Viacom and CBS merged last year, reuniting what previously were two sister companies. The merger joins Viacom's Paramount film and TV studios and its cable TV channels such as BET, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon with CBS' sports, entertainment and news offerings, including CBS News, CBS Sports Network and Showtime. 

Bakish said during the earnings call that the service will have "30,000 episodes of TV and up to 1,000 movies" from the company's various brands.

In a press release accompanying earnings, ViacomCBS referred to the expanded service as a "House of Brands."

In addition to CBS All Access, ViacomCBS also offers streaming services around BET (the $10 per month BET Plus), premium cable channel Showtime ($11 per month) and free streaming service Pluto TV. 

Viacom has deals with other services. Last year, the company struck a multiyear deal with Netflix around kid-focused Nickelodeon. Under this deal, Nickelodeon will produce original animated features and television shows for the streaming giant. South Park, which runs on Comedy Central, will stream on AT&T's HBO Max service

Some Nickelodeon content is also available on CBS All Access. 

Bakish says more details will be shared in the "months ahead," with a "soft launch" of the platform set for later this year. 

A spokesman wasn't immediately available to answer additional questions about the service.