The recently merged ViacomCBS is reportedly looking to expand its CBS All Access over-the-top (OTT) streaming service operations, bringing in more content assets from various Sumner-family interests to beef up its direct distribution offerings.

The plan, first reported last week by CNBC, would include bringing in content from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Pluto TV.

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The company will reportedly look to offer both an advertising supported version of CBS All Access and a paid premium edition that will include Showtime. It is also expected to keep a free ad-supported version of the popular Pluto TV multichannel streaming app. No name for the new service or the pricing options have been announced yet.

A formal announcement is expected to come when ViacomCBS publishes its 4th quarter earnings results on February 20th.

The beefed up premium service is just the latest news in a trend that has seen major broadcast/media companies leveraging content assets to provide their own online streaming services. Most recently NBC disclosed plans to launch a service dubbed Peacock and last fall Disney, which owns ABC, launched its Disney+ service joining Hulu and Hulu Plus Live TV offering, which it also controls.

So far, the CBS All Access OTT service has been available at a monthly subscription fee of $5.99 with ads or $9.99 without. The CBS All Access app is available on many recent-model-year smart TVs, although some older models are not compatible. In such cases, the app is available via streaming media adapters, such as Roku devices and Fire TV sticks and boxes.

ViacomCBS announced at the end of January that the streaming service hit a record number of signups for a month, following the premiere of its new original OTT-only series Star Trek: Picard.

By Greg Tarr

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