You Can Now Download CBS All Access Content, but Only If You’re an Ad-Free Subscriber

Streaming service offers offline viewing for ‘select shows’

The new Download & Play feature includes CBS All Access original series like The Good Fight. Elizabeth Fisher/CBS
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Add CBS All Access to the list of streaming services that let subscribers download content to their mobile devices for offline viewing.
This week, the OTT provider rolled out a new feature called Download & Play that allows users to watch content on the go without having to stream it.
But there are two caveats to the new All Access offering: It is only available to subscribers of the Commercial Free plan, which costs $9.99 per month, $4 more than the $5.99 Limited Commercials plan. And it only includes “select shows” (though more likely than not, it will apply to the CBS All Access series you’ll be most interested in watching).
Ad-free subscribers can download up to 25 episodes or movies and watch them on up to five devices. There are no current plans to extend the offering to Limited Commercials subscribers.
The company didn’t specify which shows and movies would be excluded from downloading but said Download & Play includes all CBS All Access original series like Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight and No Activity.
Several current CBS prime-time shows can be downloaded as well, including Blue Bloods, Bull, Hawaii Five-O, MacGyver, NCIS: New Orleans, Survivor, Big Brother, 60 Minutes and 48 Hours.
Download & Play also extends to all “classic” shows available on CBS All Access like all previous Star Trek series, Twin Peaks, Cheers, Beverly Hills 90210, The Twilight Zone and The Brady Bunch.
Once downloaded, the content is accessible for 30 days, or 48 hours after playback begins.
With the new feature, CBS All Access joins other streaming services in offering downloadable content to subscribers including Netflix, Amazon, Starz and Showtime.
Soon, Hulu will also join the downloadable bandwagon. At its NewFronts event in May, Hulu said it will offer downloadable programs to all subscribers—those with “limited commercials” and those without ads—within the next year, most likely in early 2019. That will leave HBO as one of the biggest streaming providers left without a downloadable offering.
CBS All Access now has around 2.5 million subscribers and expects to reach 4 million by next year, CBS Interactive president and COO Marc DeBevoise said last month at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.