Paramount Plus is the streaming wing of CBS / Viacom. Just as ESPN has ESPN+, and AMC has AMC+, CBS created its own streaming service to keep up with the trend towards streaming and away from traditional cable TV. The major benefit of Paramount+ for sports fans is the app’s coverage of NFL on CBS games.
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The Paramount+ platform isn’t exclusively, or even predominantly, focused on sports. Instead, the Paramount Plus service features a number of popular CBS series, such as Blue Bloods, NCIS, and The Goodwife. There is also a library of on demand movies.
We tested the Paramount+ platform extensively, both on desktop, mobile, and on our Samsung Smart TV. We maintain an active subscription to watch out for new features important to sports fans. Here is a top level rundown on what we like, and what could be improved, on the Paramount+ platform.
- Great value for money for AFC football fans who live in market
- Access to final rounds of the Masters
- Some NCAA basketball and football
- Not a full sports streaming solution for most sports fans
- Contract with the SEC expiring in 2024
What channels does Paramount+ offer?
Paramount+ offers a channel lineup that extends beyond just CBS. Channels include:
- Comedy Central
- Nickelodeon (a channel that now features some limited NFL action)
- Smithsonian Channel
The NFL on CBS
Perhaps the “crown jewel” of the Paramount Plus offering is the NFL on CBS lineup, which allows NFL fans the ability to stream quite a bit of NFL action throughout the season, with some playoff games sprinkled in. Under the current TV deal with the NFL, CBS will be the home of the Super Bowl in 2023, 2027, and 2031.
The NFL on CBS is particularly attractive for AFC football fans as CBS is the featured network for AFC games. That said, in order to access regular season games for your favorite AFC team with a Paramount+ subscription, you will need to be in-market as regional coverage rules will apply. For example, a Patriots fan living in Miami will get Dolphins games, not New England games as Paramount+ still uses fans zip codes to determine which NFL games they have access to.
Can I watch the NFL on CBS on my iPhone?
Yes, the NFL on CBS is accessible through the Paramount+ mobile app, which is compatible with iOS and Android power devices.
Can I watch college football on Paramount+?
Yes, for now.
For years, CBS has been the TV network for SEC games. However, starting in 2024, the SEC, as part of a new TV deal, will now be broadcast on ESPN, and not CBS which has been the SEC’s television home since 2001.
Until then, this upcoming NCAAF season included, Paramount+ will still feature SEC football games that are broadcast on CBS. This will usually be the SEC Game of the Week, which is broadcast nationally, with a 3:30 PM eastern time kickoff.
Can I watch March Madness on Paramount+?
Yes, but not all 67 games, and not the Final Four.
As I covered in my post on the best options for streaming March Madness, CBS does not have the TV rights to all of the NCAA men’s basketball games. Instead, they share rights with TBS, TNT, and TruTV.
You will get plenty of nationally televised March Madness action on CBS, and by extension Paramount+, but there will be holes in coverage for the diehard fans.
Notably, the Final Four will air on TBS this year, and not on CBS, so Paramount+ won’t be a solution for watching the tournament finals.
Paramount+ streaming options for golf fans
Paramount+ is a good option for golf fans.
Streaming the Masters on Paramount+
The crown jewel of the deal is the right to broadcast the final two rounds of the Masters, one of the most iconic events in sports.
However, as with the NCAA Tournament, Paramount+ subscribers will only get partial access to the Masters Golf Tournament. The first two round are carried by ESPN, but the all-important Saturday and Sunday rounds are exclusively on CBS, and are streamed on Paramount+.
Paramount+ soccer options
Although some of the leagues are fairly obscure, Paramount+ carries an impressive array of soccer programming that includes the following leagues.
- UEFA Champions League and Europa League
- Argentine Primera División
- National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)
- Serie A Matches
- Campeonato Brasileirão Série A
- Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL)
Is Paramount+ worth the money?
For some sports fans, yes, Paramount+ offers excellent value. In my opinion, the Paramount+ platform, especially because it is affordable, is at its best when paired with another live TV streaming provider to address gaps in coverage.
For example, Sling TV offers a nice budget friendly option for cord cutters, however, Sling TV has major gaps in local channels. Sling does not offer CBS without having to add and integrate a cumbersome air antenna. But, at $35 per month base, Sling still offers good value for money, and Sling Orange will get subscribers ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 plus TBS and TNT, which are Turner properties that are only becoming more important as sports networks.
For $40 per month, some fans, especially in AFC markets, would enjoy getting CBS through Paramount+ for regular season NFL action, and then using Sling Orange for Monday Night Football, the Final Four, some NHL and NBA games, as well as a lot of college football and basketball.
As a standalone service, Paramount+ won’t be quite enough for most sports fans, but it can be an effective complement to a budget friendly streaming stack.