Digital Transformation

Now CBS will stream top shows to viewers even if they don't have a traditional TV subscription

By Noel Young | Correspondent

October 16, 2014 | 3 min read

A new subscription Internet streaming service from CBS will allow people to watch live TV in the US and thousands of its current and past shows on demand without paying for a traditional TV subscription.

The new “CBS All Access” service - they’re calling it “a la carte TV” - will cost $5.99 a month.

The Good Wife: One of the shows that will be available

It is the first time that a traditional broadcaster will make a near-continuous live feed of its local stations available over the web to non-pay-TV subscribers, said the New York Times.

Starting on Thursday , the live stream will be available in 14 markets in the United States.

CBS announced the service a day after HBO said it would start an Internet-only offering that would not require a traditional television subscription.

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The moves by CBS and HBO signal the arrival of a new age of web-delivered television, where viewers have more options to pay only for the networks or programs they want to watch — and to decide how, when and where to watch them, said the NYT.

“People have long been able to watch broadcast television networks for free via antennas. But quickly fading away are the days when people pay an average $90 a month for a bundle of networks from a traditional cable, satellite or telecom provider,” said the Times.

“Everybody is talking about it,” Leslie Moonves, chief executive of the CBS Corporation, said in an interview. “It is an important part of our future. Our job is to do the best content we can and let people enjoy it in whatever way they want.”

But NFL games will not be available on the service.

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