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Pluto TV to Add 15 New Series and Franchises From CBS to Stream for Free

New content to hit the free streaming service this fall.

Steve Anderson

Perhaps one of the best things about streaming services is their sheer range of options. You can get the latest content on several platforms for a fee, or you can watch huge skeins of catalog titles often for free with just a little advertising thrown in, much like broadcast television itself. Pluto TV is one such option for streaming, and the latest word out of the company is that it’s about to get a lot more packed with content.

The new reports note that over 15 new series and franchises from CBS will be hitting the platform in a matter of weeks. “This Fall”, is when the reports put the arrival, so pretty much any time from September 22 to December 21, when the first day of winter hits. When that content arrives, it’s going to represent some of the biggest names in television from the last 60 years. Consumers will have access to legendary series like The Andy Griffith Show, Gunsmoke and The Brady Bunch, along with more recent classics like Touched By an Angel, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, and Diagnosis: Murder.

This is in addition to the content that Pluto TV already has on hand, which at last report is over 100,000 hours of content total. That should make Pluto TV an even more attractive option than it already was.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV is a free live TV streaming service that provides more than 250 channels of live TV and thousands of on demand movies and TV shows.

Most of what you’ll find on Pluto TV qualifies as “background television.” It’s fine to keep on while you’re scrolling on your phone or cooking something in the kitchen.

Because these aren’t traditional live TV channels, it’s not a great option for live events, news, or sports, but it’s a solid choice for cord cutters who want to supplement their other services with some “comfort food” TV.

It would be easy to wonder why CBS is putting all this content out for free when instead, it can put that content up behind the paywall that is Paramount+. Certainly, Paramount+ could stand the extra content; it makes the service that much more valuable and increases the likelihood that customers will actually pay for it. The answer as to why CBS is putting it out on Pluto TV instead is two-fold.

  • Pluto TV is a CBS property. Moving content here is really little more than opening the vault and letting viewers inside. CBS has really nothing to lose except for a slight possibility that some users will drop Paramount Plus in favor of the free alternative. The number of streamers that would leave Paramount Plus, and its original content, in favor of a free alternative is likely too small to be concerned with.

  • CBS is trying to get eyes on its content. Earlier today, we talked about how streaming services are now a gatekeeper for content. Legacy networks—like CBS—are eager to get their content into streaming services so as to have said content seen. Originally that called for legacy networks to approach streamers like Netflix, but as the legacy networks start building their own platforms, that’s shifting. By running old content on Pluto, they can add their own advertising for Paramount Plus and potentially draw in new customers who want to see the original content.

So with CBS augmenting its Pluto TV listings, it improves the likelihood of drawing in new customers with a big pile of free bait. Those who would have come to see Dr. Quinn or the Bradys now have a reason to stick around for scads of Nickelodeon content, as well as the various originals coming out. No matter what the consumer’s motivation here, they have plenty of new reasons to start watching Pluto TV and potentially migrate to Paramount Plus later. That makes CBS’ huge vault-opener a worthwhile plan.