New York — Tuning into the Super Bowl used to be easy — flick on the TV and find the broadcast channel or channels it was airing on. It’s still that way, but for cord-cutters that don’t have a TV package or antenna, it’s a little more complicated.
This year, CBS is showing the game on Sunday and also streaming on its service Paramount+. There are two plans to subscribe to: “Essential” that costs $5.99 per month, and “Paramount+ with Showtime,” that costs $11.99 per month. The former plan doesn’t have a live feed of the user’s local CBS affiliate, while the latter includes that plus original Showtime programming.
Subscribers to both tiers of Paramount+ can watch the Super Bowl, which kicks off at 3:30 pm PST, the company said.
Pregame coverage begins at 12 pm PST for both plans, however subscribers to “Paramount+ with Showtime” can watch additional pregame coverage that begins at 8:30 am PST. Pregame coverage begins at the same time on CBS.
What’s better for new subscribers is that Paramount+ is offering a seven-day free trial, and they can also watch the return of Jon Stewart to “The Daily Show” next week.
It’s the first time Paramount+ has aired the Super Bowl. When CBS last carried the big game, it was streamed on its former service called “CBS All Access.” CBS actually used the Super Bowl to launch Paramount+ in 2021 which changed names to reflect the merger between CBS and Viacom.
Attention from the Super Bowl could boost subscribers to Paramount+, which trails in compared to its competitors. The streamer doesn’t disclose how many US subscribers it has, but has about 63 million global subscribers, far behind Netflix, which has more than 260 million.
For the majority of fans who are watching it traditionally, CBS is available via an antenna for free or through a cable, satellite or live TV streaming services like Hulu + Live TV or DirecTV Stream.
But for those who want the alternative Super Bowl telecast that’s being announced by SpongeBob SquarePants and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom, you’re out of luck if you were looking for that on Paramount+. That version is only airing on the cable channel Nickelodeon, the company confirmed to CNN.
Paramount+ will also have its own admittedly funny Super Bowl ad with actor Patrick Stewart and other CBS stars, like talk show host Drew Barrymore, trying to throw Arnold from the Nickelodeon cartoon “Hey Arnold” over a mountain.
Paramount Global, the streamer’s owner, is reportedly looking for buyers or investors, being in need of a strategic partner to survive in the current media landscape. Shari Redstone, the family heiress of Paramount’s parent company, National Amusements, has reportedly been in talks to sell her stake in the company.
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