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The $4.99 Paramount Plus plan won't include your local CBS affiliate

Paramount Plus
(Image credit: WhatToWatch.com)

There's been a little bit of confusion surrounding Paramount+ pricing. The's because while both services will have two pricing options, Paramount+ actually has a cheaper option than CBS All Access. 

But that cheaper $4.99-a-month option won't actually be available at launch. Starting March 4, the two options for Paramount+ will be exactly the same as CBS All Access. That's $5.99 a month, or $59.99 a year, and both of those options include advertising on the on-demand content. Or you can pay $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year to get rid of ads.

For more, see our full Paramount Plus review

Then starting sometime in June, the $5.99-a-month option is going away and will be replaced by the $4.99-a-month option.

Make sense? (And none of that changes the fact that there's also a Paramount+ free trial for both options.)

How, then, is Paramount+ offering up more content for less money? It turns out that the $4.99-a-month option for Paramount+ will not have access to the live stream of your local CBS affiliate. And that potentially has some serious ramifications if you were planning on using that route to, say, stream NFL games on Paramount+.

The news isn't all bad, though. Current CBS All Access subscribers will be grandfathered in with the $5.99-a-month option that presumably still includes your local CBS affiliate. The fine print says that current subscribers won't be affected unless they cancel and resubscribe after the new plans are in effect. But if you do cancel and come back — or if you're signing up for the first time after the $5.99 plan goes into effect — you'll have to opt for the $9.99-a-month option to stream your local CBS affiliate.

Here's the actual wording from Paramount+ (emphasis theirs):

Heads-up that later this year, the current Limited Commercials plan will be discontinued, and a new $4.99/month (plus applicable tax) plan that does not include access to your live CBS station will be introduced. This will not affect current subscribers unless you cancel and resubscribe after this plan is introduced. At that time, you’ll only be able to choose between the new $4.99/month plan with limited commercials and without the ability to stream your local live CBS station, or the existing Commercial Free plan. The exact date will be announced as it gets closer. 

So in other words if you're already on the less expensive of the two plans and want to keep the ability to stream your local CBS station, don't cancel. (And if you're not a current subscriber, the clock's ticking to get in on the action.)

Beyond that, we're still expecting a fairly smooth transition. You'll still be able to watch Paramount+ on all the platforms you've come to expect, like on Roku, or on Amazon Fire TV. And there's a pretty impressive roster of new original content headed to Paramount+ that should keep you busy for some time to come.

And you'll still find the best shows on Paramount+. (And don't forget about the best movies on Paramount+, too!)