CBS Extends Reach of Digital Subscription Service With Affiliate Deals

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Deals with 12 companies will mean CBS programming will be live streamed in 56 markets.

CBS Corporation announced on Thursday that it has reached various carriage agreements to bring "CBS All Access," its digital video subscription services, to 55 percent of U.S. households.

The deals come with owners of local TV stations including Dispatch, Graham Media, Gray, Hearst, Lilly Broadcasting, Meredith, Morgan Murphy, Morris Network, Neuhoff Media, Nexstar, Raycom and Withers. CBS promises there will be more to come.

"CBS All Access" charges $5.99 a month for live-streaming and on-demand access to episodes from current and past seasons of its television shows. It's part of a growing trend of broadcasters like HBO and Nickelodeon offering ways that its fans can watch without a cable subscription.

Last month, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said that the service had more than 100,000 subscribers already. Most came from the 14 owned-and-operated CBS stations in major markets like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago that participated in last October's launch of the service. In those places, subscribers got both live-streaming and on-demand access. Elsewhere, only on-demand was offered via CBS' website and through its app.

Since then, CBS has also brought the service to Roku and is now extending the reach of live-streaming further with deals with other affiliates. According to CBS, new markets now added include Atlanta, Phoenix, Orlando, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Charlotte, Hartford, Kansas City and Las Vegas.

"This is another key step in the Company’s long-standing strategy to grow our business in a way that complements our existing ecosystem,” says Moonves. "Adding CBS affiliates to the mix will give viewers the opportunity to watch more CBS programming whenever they want on whichever device they choose. We look forward to adding more affiliate partners to build CBS All Access nationwide.”