Is Paramount Plus included for free with a cable subscription?

Paramount Plus
(Image credit: Paramount)

Unlike its predecessor CBS All Access, Paramount Plus does not let you sign in for free using your cable subscription. You'll need to pay for a membership if you want to unlock access to all of its content, though you can still stream CBS live without being a Paramount Plus member by visiting or using the CBS app.

Paramount Plus isn't another new streaming service — it's actually a rebranded one previously known as CBS All Access. Originally home of Star Trek: Discovery and the Big Brother live feeds, the service quickly ballooned into one that allows you to stream content from networks like Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and even The Smithsonian Channel. Though the name was in dire need of a change, Paramount Plus at launch is rather similar to CBS All Access in terms of content available and how the service works on browsers and mobile devices; there's just one big feature that's suddenly missing.

Previously on CBS All Access, you could log in with your cable provider such as DirecTV or AT&T U-Verse to stream the live CBS channel in your area for free. This feature wasn't just available to traditional cable subscribers but also those who were subscribed to live TV streaming services such as YouTube TV, fuboTV, and Hulu with Live TV, and it's a feature that many other networks offer to this day on their own apps and websites. Unfortunately, that's not the case with Paramount Plus.

If you're looking to stream Paramount Plus, there's no way to sign in for free using your cable subscription as there was with CBS All Access. You'll need to sign up for a membership starting at $5.99 per month to gain access to the service. Paramount Plus has two plans to choose from: Limited Commercials for $5.99 per month or No Commercials for $9.99 per month. However, the ability to stream CBS for free using your cable subscription is still available elsewhere.

The Paramount Plus streaming service brings together content from networks like BET, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and more, as well as exclusive original shows and films you won't be able to watch anywhere else.

How to stream CBS without a Paramount Plus account

Though Paramount Plus doesn't let you stream CBS without becoming a paying member, that's not the only option available.

By visiting the CBS website or downloading the free CBS app, you can login using your cable subscription and watch CBS without a Paramount Plus membership. You'll find a list of the cable providers and live TV streaming services you can sign in with below. This method also works on channels like MTV and VH1 when you visit their respective websites or mobile apps.

A VPN could help, too...

While Paramount Plus is still only available in the United States, you'll have trouble accessing the new streaming service if you travel to a different country. When it comes to content that's blocked online due to where you're currently located, the easiest way to get around these restrictions is with a VPN. With a virtual private network, you can re-route your internet traffic through a server somewhere else in the world and make it appear as if you're located there instead. "This video is not available in your country?", not for long.

There are a ton of VPNs out there with pretty competitive prices that can be used not just on your computer but also on mobile devices like your phone or tablet. We've tried many of the best VPNs on the market, though our favorite is ExpressVPN. The service can even be used on a wide array of operating systems and devices (e.g. iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, Roku, game consoles, etc). Sign up for ExpressVPN now and enjoy a 49% discount plus three free months of service when joining. You can even test it out for yourself thanks to the service's 30-day money back guarantee.

No matter where in the world you may be, a VPN makes streaming Paramount Plus easy. Get in on this deal now!

Which cable providers work with the CBS app?

There's a long list of cable providers that you can use to sign in and stream CBS for free on the CBS app, as well as a handful of live TV streaming services like YouTube TV. Once you're logged in, the CBS app also has a ton of on-demand shows to watch at your leisure, from long-running soaps to game shows, reality series and, of course, some of the best primetime dramas on network TV.

The following cable providers and streaming services let you sign in and watch CBS:

  • AT&T U-verse
  • AT&T TV
  • Altice One
  • Armstrong
  • Atlantic Broadband
  • BendBroadband
  • Blue Ridge Communications
  • Blue Stream
  • Buckeye Broadband
  • Consolidated
  • Cox
  • DirecTV
  • Dish
  • Frontier
  • fuboTV
  • Grande Communications
  • Great Plains Communications
  • Hulu
  • Mediacom
  • Optimum
  • Paul Bunyan Communications
  • RCN
  • Service Electric Broadband Cable
  • Service Electric Cable TV and Communications
  • Service Electric Cablevision
  • Spectrum
  • Suddenlink
  • TDS
  • Vast Broadband
  • Verizon
  • Volcano Vision, Inc.
  • WOW!
  • Wave Broadband
  • Xfinity
  • YouTube TV
  • Ziply Fiber
  • Zito Media
Alex Smith
Alex is a graduate from the University of North Florida with a background in sales and merchandising. When he’s not hunting down the next great deals to post on Thrifter, he can be found making music and working on his eBay business.