Paramount Plus and Peacock are similar in many ways, but they are not the same streaming service. Read on to learn why I prefer Paramount+ for watching live sports.
Table of Contents
I was prompted to write this comparison piece between Paramount Plus, the streaming service owned by CBS/Viacom, and Peacock, the service owned by NBC Universal because of the anger Peacock is receiving from fans for the way it has approached its Big Ten TV rights.
- Paramount Plus – owned by CBS/Viacom
- Peacock – owned by NBC Universal
Both Paramount Plus and Peacock will carry Big Ten Football this season, but unlike Paramount Plus, which will feature CBS simulcasts, Peacock will air 8 “streaming exclusive” Big Ten football games that can only be viewed on the app, including Michigan football’s season opener, which has outraged fans.
For example, my Father is a UM grad and longtime Michigan football season ticket holder who will be traveling this year for the opener. He has vowed not to signup for Peacock to watch Michigan’s first game of the season, which is probably the first time in several decades he will have missed the opening game.
So, right off the bat, the biggest difference for me between Paramount Plus and Peacock is Paramount Plus respects their users more than Peacock, full stop. The streaming exclusive model employed by Peacock frustrates fans, and makes a mess of the streaming landscape by creating confusion around how to watch major sporting events.
Paramount+ vs. Peacock sports coverage
Peacock and Paramount Plus offer similar price points at $5.99 for the first premium subscription tier. The main difference, aside from programming, is that Paramount Plus can offer a 7 day free trial, whereas Peacock, which has chosen to go with the streaming exclusive model can’t offer fans a free trial period. Free trials and streaming exclusive sports programming can’t work together since the entire purpose of putting the exclusive content behind a paywall is to motivate fans to signup for the service to access the “exclusive” game.
$5.99 / month
$5.99 / month
Paramount Plus has broader college football coverage in 2023
Especially for the 2023 season, Paramount Plus offers much greater value than does Peacock for watching college football. That said, Notre Dame fans, because of the team’s TV contract with NBC, will want to have access to NBC over-the-air, or with a live TV streaming service that carries the channel.
Paramount Plus has the better NFL coverage
The most important content on the Paramount Plus app by far is the NFL on CBS package, which is simulcast in its entirety on Paramount+ for what is a very good deal if you live in an AFC football market, like Buffalo, Denver, Kansas City, New York, and many others. Again, I take issue with the way Peacock is approaching its sports coverage. Rather than stream their entire NFL lineup as a simulcast as Paramount Plus does with its NFL on CBS programming, Peacock has hidden an NFL playoff game behind its premium paywall as a streaming exclusive. In a move that is flat out bad for fans, the primetime NFL playoff wildcard game on 1/13/24 will be available only on Peacock.
Paramount+ NFL games
Paramount Plus carries college basketball
In turn, Peacock offers NASCAR races, and English Premier League Soccer, events which are not available on Paramount Plus.
Peacock offers Premier League soccer coverage
In fact, soccer fans who are willing to watch some games on-demand, as many are because Premier League matches are usually broadcast while most of us are still asleep, can access full EPL coverage with a Peacock subscription alone.
By contrast, Paramount Plus doesn’t carry any Premier League games (CBS doesn’t have the rights). However, Paramount Plus does offer a large lineup of pro soccer, including the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League.
The bottom line
However, when comparing Peacock to Paramount Plus, most sports fans will make a call based on which games they want to watch. For example, a Notre Dame football fan might choose Peacock to watch simulcasts of games played on Saturdays in South Bend, while an NFL fan in Miami would choose Paramount Plus as a cost effective way to stream Dolphin’s games from South Florida.
For me, the bottom line is the Paramount Plus business model, which shows far more respect for users than does Peacock. It’s unfortunate that Peacock has chosen to motivate signups with gimmicky streaming exclusive games in MLB, NFL, and college football that fans simply do not want.