UPDATED: CBS All Access Announces Ad-Free Tier

Sometimes, if you wish hard enough, dreams DO come true. Hopefully without caveats.

Since we first heard about the plan to put Star Trek Discovery on CBS’ All Access streaming service after the pilot airs, we’ve been concerned about their talk of commercial breaks. They call it a “limited commercial load,” but that still meant 12-minutes of ads per-hour, which is disappointing to anyone who pays for other streaming services that are commercial-free. Hulu has tiers, with a higher price for ad-free viewing, and this was a model we were hoping CBS would emulate.

Thankfully, CBS announced today that this is indeed the game plan. A regular subscription to All Access costs $5.99/month, and the commercial-free version is $9.99, and it’s already available.

Screen Shot CBS All Access choice

The only thing that has us worried is this language:

CBS All Access’s live-streaming of local CBS stations, which is available in more than 150 U.S. markets, will continue to feature the same commercials as the over-the-air broadcast [since it is in effect a simulcast of your local affiliate], while select on-demand shows will include “promotional interruptions”.

What we hope is that this will be similar to Hulu’s ads, which only come at the top, and are always for their original shows. Okay, what we REALLY hope is that it won’t happen at all during Star Trek Discovery, but that’s our second choice.

All Access upgrade - CBS

If commercial free really IS commercial free, it’s #AdFreeOption for the win!

UPDATE: We have the press release, which offers more clarity. Discovery will be commercial free to the $9.99/month subscribers!


CBS All Access Subscribers Can Now Watch the Service’s On-Demand Content

Commercial-Free for $9.99/Month or with Reduced Commercials for $5.99/Month

August 31, 2016 – CBS Corporation today announced the launch of a commercial-free plan for the CBS All Access subscription service. In addition to the existing subscription offering of $5.99/month, subscribers now have the option to watch CBS All Access’s on-demand content commercial-free for $9.99/month.

“The foundation of CBS All Access is not only about giving CBS fans access to more of the content they want, but also giving them more choice in how they watch their favorite CBS programming,” said Marc DeBevoise, President and Chief Operating Officer of CBS Interactive. “The addition of a commercial-free plan gives our subscribers even more ways to customize their CBS viewing experience – from which devices to whether they watch in or out of the home, and now with commercials or without.”

With the commercial-free plan, subscribers will be able to watch CBS All Access’s on-demand library of more than 7,500 episodes, including full current seasons of primetime hits like BIG BROTHER, BLUE BLOODS, MADAM SECRETARY and THE ODD COUPLE among many others, as well as late night, daytime and news programming, all without commercials. CBS All Access’s upcoming original series, including the next chapter of the legendary “Star Trek” TV franchise, STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, a spinoff of “The Good Wife” and a new digital edition of “Big Brother” will also be available commercial-free under the $9.99/month plan.

Subscribers to the $5.99/month plan will continue to experience reduced commercials when watching on-demand content and be able to watch CBS Classics without commercials. Current subscribers will have the option to move to the commercial-free plan by logging on to their account through CBS.com.

For the commercial-free plan, CBS All Access‘s live-streaming offering of local CBS Television stations, which is available throughout the U.S. in more than 150 markets, will continue to feature the same commercials as the over-the-air broadcast, and select on-demand shows will include promotional interruptions.

CBS All Access is available online at CBS.com, on mobile devices and tablets via the CBS App for iOS, Android and Windows 10, and on Roku Players, Apple TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Chromecast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, with more connected device platforms coming soon.

For more details and to sign up for a CBS All Access subscription, visit: CBS.com/allaccess.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

That’s good news! I’m willing to pay for Star Trek — making a good show costs a LOT of money — but having to pay AND watch ads seemed really unfair. So thanks for the commercial-free option.

I bet they have breaks at the regular intervals for ads and just make them very very limited. Hopefully not but it wouldn’t surprise me. Then again, Im in Canada so I don’t care lol

Not the only way you’re blessed, guy. I recently Vancouver Island and could definitely see myself living there. :-)

Recently visited, oy.

You are fortunate to be able to get the show on actual cable. We here in the states are not as fortunate.

With the small number of episodes per season, will they run the episodes weekly or spread them out?

If spread out one per month (and only watching STD on CBS), the cost per ad-free episode will be $9.99.

It’s a weekly series.

If airing weekly, then 13 episodes will be 3 months + plus another week, but the first episode will air on CBS, so if you skip that then exactly 3 months – if they don’t have a week break in there somewhere. But you could always postpone starting a few weeks then catch up from on-demand and cram it into 2 months. Or wait till the end and get it all for $10!!

Is the first episode one-hour or two?

That is, of course, assuming CBS doesn’t remove episodes from their streaming archives a few weeks after they air like they do with their over the air programs on line.

“…will they run the episodes weekly or spread them out?”

Glad you asked for the clarification [other] Captain Dunsel.

Are the breaks “Station Identification” as required by law by ‘terrestrial’ broadcasters?

No, that’s only for the airwaves. Cable channels don’t do that.

That’s great news for those of you who will purchase the subscription. I’m still not biting.

If it were on Netflix in the US I’d watch it. I’m not paying ten bucks a month just for Star Trek though.

I used to think that too. But Netflix has yet to even put Daredevil on disc. So I haven’t gotten to see it yet. If they had Trek I’m wondering if they would give it the same cruddy treatment….

You make it sound like the subscription is permanent. If you subscribe to All Access at the very start of “Discovery” and cancel after the finale, you’ve only spent $30. That’s about how much the MSRP of a new season on Blu-Ray would be. If you wait until the series finishes “airing,” and binge-watch, you’ll have only spent $10 on the entire season. So, for anyone to think this is too much money to spend on a season of television (especially for the first new Trek series in over 10 years) is just crazy.

For me, it’s not the money. It’s the streaming. I don’t want to watch trek on low quality, low reliable tech. Give me reliable tech (like an over the air TV or a cable broadcast) or high quality (like blu ray). I’m only asking for one or the other. Don’t MAKE me stream to see it. That is what I am chastising CBS for. I’m even willing to pay a few bucks over the monthly fee to rent the discs!

BTW… In what world are entire seasons of shows a mere $30?

Netflix has set the standard for streaming services. CBS won’t even come close!

Sold! I have a bunch of Stephen Colbert to catch up on now. L8r.

Ads or not, I’ll pay and watch because I’m a life-long Trek fan. I’m worried that they might be losing the casual viewership by not offering the show on other services. Perhaps having viewers pay for a service is more profitable, even with a smaller overall audience?

a letter from GR to Harlan Ellison after the Tom Snyder Show in the 70s – if GR told stories like this ‘cop in a restaurant one’ all the time (something I hadn’t heard of previously), I’d have a higher opinion of his work.

The pay model for trek still bugs me some; can’t tell if I’ll be onboard or not at this point.

Ten bucks a month to watch one show? Hell, it’s only eight for all of Netflix.

These folks need to put down the bong.

It’s not just one show – CBS All Access has most first run programming available for viewing within a day, access to live stream local affiliates, and a large library of past CBS properties. Plus, they plan on having additional original programming. From what I can tell they are following the Hulu model, which has NBC, Fox, and other network programming available on similar terms plus original content, and Hulu also has an ad and ad-free option.

It’s only one show from your perspective.

No, it’s only one show. Everything else can be obtained by the subscriptions we ALREADY pay money for. Don’t fall for the CBS propaganda.

Netflix is $9.73 after tax for me.

Green Acres and Hawaii Five-O are also included. Rockford Files, too?

Rockford was NBC network and Universal Studios, so no.

There’s a Netflix price increase that’s been gradually going into effect over the past year or so. My plan was $8 for years, and just increased this month to $10. The increase will get to you eventually.

Um- yeah but I have nothing else I want to see on CBS. If only a “store” of some kind existed that allowed me to buy only the shows I want to watch and not be stuck with a decades old paradigm of all you can eat subscription pricing…

Can you share a login as freely as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or HBO though?

They did say something about being able to share, but only two can watch concurrently.

Anyone hear of CBS making this available to purchase through ITunes? I would consider that, but otherwise, pass. I’ll wait for the disc in a year or so, or until DSC is widely available through other media, commercial-free and much cheaper. Too greedy, CBS. Shame upon you.

Why would CBS do that? They want you to sign up for All Access.

I don’t understand people who are saying this is too expensive. If you subscribe to All Access at the very start of “Discovery” and cancel after the finale, you’ve only spent $30. That’s about how much the MSRP of a new season on Blu-Ray would be. If you wait until the series finishes “airing,” and binge-watch, you’ll have only spent $10 on the entire season. Even if Discovery were to be available on iTunes, it would still cost you $20-30, flat out. At least with All Access you basically get to choose how much you’re going to spend on it to an extent.

Why even watch this? Every episode will be discussed ad nausea here.

True. I know people who “watch” some shows by only reading episode recaps.

The only possible concern that I can imagine this:

” CBS All Access‘s live-streaming offering of local CBS Television stations, which is available throughout the U.S. in more than 150 markets, will continue to feature the same commercials as the over-the-air broadcast …”

might portend for the commercial-free seekers is if CBS intends to NOT put up DSC’s first episode on ALL ACCESS until AFTER the DSC pilot airs locally on the CBS broadcast network. This would, in effect, force commercial-free subscribers desirous of seeing DSC ASAP into watching local plus network commercials.

A: It seems reasonable that the pilot will be available w/o commercials on the commercial free AA at the time of airing or at worst, immediately after it airs on the CBS affiliates.

B: The point is moot because you can just record it off your local CBS channel and skip the commercials anyway.


Re:moot because you can just record it off your local CBS channel and skip the commercials

For some, but there are others who don’t care to brook any interruptions that aren’t a part of the main feature’s dramatic presentation.


If any break whatsoever is irritating, then that person’s best bet is to hope the BD’s of the show become available. That is the only way they will ever see it without getting irritated.


Yep, hope.

Wouldn’t work for me in my advanced years who views all the mandatory delays in getting to the main feature on the latest studio releases on BD a waste of precious time. Maybe I could watch cartoons on the DVD player while the BD snakes its way to the feature?

Yes. Those are irritating. Putting on trailers you have seen countless times already and/or ads for that studios wonderful disc library. But… There is a button on the remote that will skip it. Occasionally that is disabled. When they do that you can still FF through it.

I’ve read that even the ten buck ‘no commercials’ plan will have ‘promos’ for other CBS shows interrupting the content.

Jeez…. they want this to fail SO BAD. Have they NEVER watched Netflix?

“Interrupting” probably means “don’t miss Michael Weatherly in ‘Bull’, Wednesdays on CBS!” at the beginning.

Or it means like some On Demand programming works. They break, you cannot forward past the break, and it is a 15 second promo for some other program, then gets right back to the show. To be honest, I do not have a problem with that, except if they call it commercial free, it shouldn’t even have a break for THAT.

Never has a pilot episode carried more weight (in modern times at least). If it doesn’t garner enough interest on the night it airs on tv, not enough fans and causal viewers are going to want to subscribe to see how the story unfolds, All Access takes a major hit, and once again the franchise struggles to move forward. After seeing how Supergirl underperformed on television, I do see the positives of putting the show on a streaming service but it all should have just gone to Netflix if that’s was the case. We’ll see how this unfolds I guess….

Or… They could just move the show over to the CW. Like they did with Supergirl. Where niche shows can actually survive and people can actually see them.

I’ll just download it on a torrent… not forking over even more money just for one show… Especially with a silly looking ship like that.

Do you use this same logic for milk at the grocery store? “Pfft, no sense in paying for just one gallon, guess I’ll just take it.”

Also — the ship you’re referring to was test footage to drum up a little buzz. It was not the final design.

Kayla, you made it happen. Thank you!

I’m lucky enough to live in one of the territories that will be airing this new show on ‘Netflix’…but I’m still kinda saddened that this new ‘Trek’ foray is being shown on ANY kind of ‘subscription streaming’ to begin with.

I grew up having easy accessibility to plenty of ‘Star Trek’ episodes as a youngster, due to the fact that the show was readily available to the whole population on one of the more popular tv channels here. And that was also the case with the rest of the ‘Trek’ shows that followed over the subsequent years.

But in this instance, this latest ‘Trek’ show is NOT going to be initially available to people who don’t subscribe to (or can’t afford to subscribe to) these new-fangled ‘streaming’ methods…and that’s a real pity. Sure, avid watchers of movies and shows like myself who can afford to, will be subscribed to the likes of ‘Netflix’ and get the benefit of seeing this show on release…but there are a lot of people and families out there who are going to miss out altogether. I guess this is ‘progress’…but I wish it wasn’t the case for the sake of those that won’t get to see this ‘Trek’ relaunch with the rest of us.

On the other hand, considering the potentially harder-edged, sweary and sexualized tone this new show MIGHT end up taking…it may not exactly be the kind of ‘family’ show that some would wish to expose their kids to anyway! And that would be a pity too, I reckon.

I’ll watch it the next day in one of a million different ways for free and with no ads just like I do with every other show on the likes of HBO, AMC or any other cable or specialty channel.

Good for you! How DARE anyone ask you to pay for something you enjoy?

Exactly. Good for me. I’m more than willing to spend money when I perceive value. I don’t see any value in this service. More and more people are cutting the cable and satellite tv cord and going with HD antenna’s, Netflix and android boxes for the rest. The only difference is I have to wait 24 hours (or less) for it to appear elsewhere. Chances are CBS is going to royally screw this up and both their streaming service and flagship show will be a disaster.

I, too, do not have an issue with the fee. I have a problem with the concept of “streaming ONLY”. Streaming is crappy and unreliable technology. It sill has way too many bugs to make it worth while. All I am asking from CBS is to make the discs available for rental. Even if it is after the season is over. I am totally willing to pay a little more than the streaming fee to rent the higher quality and more reliable discs.

Bryant Burnette,

Re:pay for something you enjoy?

You know what they say, “The best things in life are free.”

How much does the bittorrent version cost?

That is good news… But not GREAT news. As nice at that is, we are still forced to put up with crappy quality streaming. The great news would be if CBS announces that blu ray discs of the first season will be available for rental.

Here is another problem I have with the streaming.

I want to watch Star Trek on my big TV. Not my phone. Not my laptop. On my TELEVISION. My blu ray player came with a bunch of apps I can tap into including You Tube and even Netflix. My TV came with a bunch of apps I can tap into, including You Tube and Netflix. You know what they DON’T have? CBS ALL ACCESS!!!! Even if I wanted to pay how am I supposed to watch it? Yes, the TV does have a built in browser. But it sucks and each time I have tried to watch something on the browser it never worked. I’ve used the Netflix app on the disc player with hit or miss success. Sometimes a 23 minute program will stop to buffer every 4 or 5 minutes. Sometimes I can watch straight through. But… Assuming I pay for the service (which I am not against especially since I have found one friend who is willing to share and two others who are considering it) will I be stuck with my cruddy built in TV browser?

This entire thing just sucks hard. Screw CBS for doing this to Trek fans.

I’m not paying $10 a month to watch Star Trek. I MIGHT pay $6. Four more dollars to not have to sit through a couple minutes of commercials? Bizarre that anyone is willing to do that for one show. I know All Access is so named for a reason and I have my doubts that that reason will be ready & available the day Discovery is launched (pun intended), so at this point it’s all about this one Trek show (I have all previous Trek series on Blu-ray or DVD, so unless DS9 & Voyager are going to be streaming in HD, I have no reason to pay them to watch those).

Now…if CBS really wants more money from me, they’ll take note and remaster DS9…and maybe Voyager…and put ’em on Blu-ray. I’ll buy the heck out of that!

will this show be available on season pass on itunes? rather spend my money that way and just buy the damn thing once and have it