A Paramount Plus subscription includes access to a selection of live channels, so it is possible for subscribers to watch some live programming. However, the channels are limited in selection, and are unlikely to be representative of what some consumers might expect from a live TV service.
Those considering signing up to Paramount Plus currently have the option of subscribing to the Essential plan at $5.99 per month or upgrading to the Paramount+ with Showtime plan at $11.99 per month.
At twice the price, there are a number of benefits of opting for the more expensive tier, including access to Showtime, the option to download videos, and the ability to watch content from the on-demand library without ads.
Adding to this, the exact number of live channels that a Paramount Plus subscriber has access to depends on their subscription level.
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Live channels included with Paramount Plus
All Essential and Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers get access to a variety of live channels that they can tune in to and watch at any time.
These channels can be found by selecting the “Live TV” option from the menu when using the app on a supported device or visiting the Paramount+ website. Unlike the channels included with a traditional live TV subscription, Paramount Plus live channels are curated channels.
These curated channels typically play episodes of a single show, or videos of a similar theme, and are similar to the selection of channels typically available with free streaming services, also known as FAST services.
For example, the Paw Patrol and Star Trek channels play non-stop episodes, while genre-based channels, such as Crime & Justice, Movies, Nostalgic Hits, and Kids & Family, play different shows and movies based on the channel’s theme.
Paramount Plus channels list:
In total, Paramount Plus subscribers currently have access to more than 30 live channels.
- 24/7 Laughs
- 80s Sitcoms
- 90s Sitcoms
- Adult Animation
- All Day Drama
- Animation Favorites
- Black Voices
- Brasileirão (Brazil Campeonato Brasileiro Série A)
- CBS News
- CBS News Local
- CBS Sports HQ
- CBS Sports Golazo
- Combate Global
- Crime & Justice
- History Undiscovered
- Inside Edition
- Kids & Family
- LPF (Argentina Liga Profesional de Fútbol)
- National Women’s Soccer League
- Nostalgic Hits
- Paw Patrol
- Preschool Corner
- SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League)
- SpongeBob Universe
- Star Trek
- Reality TV: Competition
- Reality TV: Shores
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
- TV Classics
The $11.99 Paramount+ with Showtime plan also includes access to a subscriber’s local CBS station. This is actually the same local CBS channel that a consumer would get with a live TV subscription, making it a good addition to have access to.
In addition to their local CBS station, Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers also get access to the live Showtime channels as well. Regardless of where they are based in the US, they will get access to both Showtime East and Showtime West live feeds.
For reference, while those signed up to the cheaper Essential plan don’t get access to their local CBS, legacy Limited Commercials subscribers still have access to their local live CBS channel, and will continue to for as long as their subscription remains active.
Another point for Essential subscribers to note, even though they don’t get access to their local CBS station, they can still watch some live sports, including NFL on CBS and UEFA Champions League, via separate live feeds.
Live channels not included with Paramount Plus
Other than CBS, Paramount Plus subscribers don’t get access to any traditional live TV channels, and this in spite of some of them sounding like they might be channels included with a traditional live TV plan.
For example the CBS Sports HQ channel is not the same as CBS Sports Network. While the channel does provide access to sports news, scores and highlights, it doesn’t show any actual live sports events.
In spite of a lot of Paramount Network content also being available through Paramount Plus, subscribers don’t get access to the live Paramount Network channel either. Likewise, those considering signing up to Paramount Plus shouldn’t expect access to any other popular channels, including ABC, The CW, Discovery, Fox, Fox Sports, FX, ESPN, Hallmark, Lifetime, NBC, or TNT.
With none of these popular channels available, the live TV channels included with a Paramount Plus subscription are unlikely to work as direct replacements for the channels you get with a traditional live TV subscription.
Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers should also note that they will still see ads when watching any of the live channels. Even though premium subscribers are paying for an ad-free streaming experience, ads on live channels cannot be skipped, and will be similar in duration and frequency to those encountered with a traditional live TV subscription.
Live TV on Paramount Plus: recap
Regardless of the plan, all Paramount Plus subscribers get access to more than 30 curated live channels. Unlike traditional live TV channels, these curated channels constantly show different episodes of the same show, or various shows and movies that are grouped together based on a similar theme.
Those signed up to the Paramount+ with Showtime plan, or the older Limited Commercials plan, also get access to their local CBS channel at no additional cost. This is the same CBS station they would have access to through a paid live TV service, or when using an antenna to receive the over-the-air station. Paramount+ with Showtime subscribers will also find the linear Showtime channel available to watch in the live guide.
Overall, the live TV on Paramount Plus experience is a nice addition to have, but it won’t be a replacement for any homes wanting access to a traditional live TV package.