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New ViacomCBS, Charter Agreement Includes Paramount+, Pluto TV Content

Jeff Kotuby

The latest news out of Charter Communications proves it can play nice with other companies when it wants to.

Thursday, ViacomCBS and Charter, owners of the Spectrum cable service, announced a partnership that will allow for the “continued carriage of ViacomCBS’ leading portfolio of broadcast, entertainment, news, and sports networks, in addition to licensing ViacomCBS’ suite of streaming services, including Paramount+, Pluto TV, BET+, and Noggin, for future distribution to Spectrum customers.”

This could mean we’ll see a situation where Spectrum customers will have direct access to Paramount+, Pluto TV, and Noggin through their cable boxes, similar to how Comcast offers programs from Peacock and Netflix directly from their set-top boxes presently.

It remains to be seen how ViacomCBS’ properties will interact with Spectrum customers and if they’ll need to pay extra to access content from the services. Hopefully, access to the content will be included in the price of the cable subscription, much in the same way Comcast does with Netflix content on some of Comcast’s Xfinity agreements.

Paramount Plus

Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 40,000+ TV show episodes from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and more. The lineup includes “1883,” “Tulsa King,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and MTV’s “Laguna Beach.” From well-loved franchises to compelling originals, Paramount+ offers a great library worth streaming. Live NFL games are included. The service also offers the option to watch your live CBS affiliate.

Subscribers can choose between the Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with the Premium Plan for $9.99/month. Subscribers can add Showtime to either plan for an additional fee.

With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time lineup, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.

With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate.

With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.

The service was previously called CBS All Access.

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“We are pleased to have reached a new deal to deliver ViacomCBS’ expansive portfolio of popular brands and premium programming for Spectrum audiences to enjoy, plus greater choice in how they consume our content,” said Ray Hopkins, President, U.S. Networks Distribution, ViacomCBS. “Charter is a valued partner, and we look forward to deepening our long-standing relationship.”

Added Tom Montemagno, Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisition for Charter: “These comprehensive agreements with ViacomCBS recognize the fast-changing pace of the subscription video business and provide us the flexibilities to adapt for the benefit of our customers while also furthering our strategic interests in the advanced advertising realm and aggregated video store concept with the addition of the streaming apps.”

Spectrum has had its hands full with Roku, as the two sides still haven't come to a carriage agreement some eight months later. At least there’s some good news for Spectrum customers coming from elsewhere in the entertainment industry.

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