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Paramount Network vs. Paramount Plus: How Are They Different?

Hey there! If you‘re wondering how Paramount Network and Paramount Plus stack up, you‘ve come to the right place. As both a cable cutter and streaming fanatic myself, I‘ve done a deep dive on these two Paramount services to help you decide which is better for your needs.

In short:

  • Paramount Network is a traditional cable TV channel included in larger cable packages. It offers mostly live viewing of its original shows.

  • Paramount Plus is a standalone on-demand streaming service with thousands of movies and shows to binge from across Paramount‘s brands.

Keep reading as I break down all the nitty gritty details between Paramount Network and Paramount Plus!

A Quick Comparison

Before we dive in, here‘s a high-level overview of how Paramount Network and Paramount Plus differ:

Paramount Network Paramount Plus
Overview Cable TV channel focused on dramas, reality shows and movies Streaming service with huge on-demand library
Pricing $50-$100+ per month with cable package $5-$10 per month by itself
Popular Shows Yellowstone, Ink Master Star Trek, Paw Patrol, Survivor
Movies Limited recent releases Thousands of new and classic films
Originals Scripted dramas and reality shows Growing lineup across genres
Sports No live sports Some live NFL, soccer and more
Devices Cable box, some streaming devices with a TV package All major streaming platforms

So as you can see, Paramount Plus offers a much larger on-demand library that‘s cheaper and more flexible for streaming. Let‘s explore each service in more detail!

Comparing the Paramount Network and Paramount Plus Libraries

The biggest difference between Paramount Network and Paramount Plus comes down to their content libraries.

As a cable channel, Paramount Network has a limited, curated lineup of shows airing at any given time. Meanwhile, Paramount Plus boasts an enormous catalog of on-demand movies, shows, and Paramount originals spanning decades.

Here‘s how the libraries compare:

Paramount Network Shows

Paramount Network‘s schedule consists mostly of original dramas, reality competitions, and made-for-TV movies. Some of their most popular current and recent shows include:

  • Yellowstone: Cable‘s #1 drama starring Kevin Costner racks up over 10 million viewers per episode. But you can only watch Yellowstone on Paramount Network.

  • Ink Master: Long-running tattoo artist competition averages 2+ million viewers per episode.

  • Lip Sync Battle: Viral performance show spawned from a segment on The Tonight Show.

  • Wife Swap: Reality series where spouses from different households switch places.

Paramount Network also airs a limited number of older acquired shows and movies. Examples include Cops, Catch a Contractor, and the Indiana Jones movies.

But beyond a handful of popular titles, the network doesn‘t offer an extensive on-demand library of its shows. Once live episodes air, they aren‘t readily available for streaming on Paramount Network or associated apps.

According to Nielsen data, Paramount Network reaches around 87 million households in the U.S.

Paramount Plus Shows and Movies

Meanwhile, Paramount Plus grants unlimited on-demand access to tens of thousands of hours of content. This includes:

  • Iconic CBS shows: Past and present hits like Star Trek, NCIS, Twin Peaks, and Survivor with over 700 series available

  • Blockbuster Paramount movies: Top Gun, Mission Impossible, Transformers, A Quiet Place and 2,000+ other films

  • MTV favorites: Jersey Shore, Laguna Beach, Teen Mom 2, Catfish

  • Nickelodeon classics: SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, Paw Patrol, 90s hits like All That and The Wild Thornberrys

  • Comedy Central series: The Daily Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Reno 911

  • Plus Paramount+ originals: Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight, Halo, Seal Team, and more

According to Paramount, the service offers over 30,000 episodes, 2,500 movie titles, and 1,000+ sports events as of 2022. Plus more new titles are constantly added.

Paramount Plus also provides next-day streaming for current CBS shows after they air live, like Young Sheldon, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Survivor new episodes.

As of mid-2022, Paramount Plus has around 64 million total subscribers globally according to Paramount‘s earnings reports.

Clearly, Paramount Plus provides access to a much more vast, varied selection of content – more than any one person could watch in a lifetime!

How Content Compares for Different Viewers

The value of each service‘s library also depends on your interests as a viewer. Let‘s quickly compare how Paramount Network and Paramount Plus stack up for:

  • Reality TV junkies: Paramount Plus offers hundreds more unscripted options from MTV and other brands. Paramount Network has some solid reality picks but not an endless supply like Big Brother seasons on Paramount Plus.

  • CBS viewers: Paramount Plus offers current CBS shows on-demand along with decades of classics from the network‘s vault. You‘d have to pay extra for live CBS on Paramount Plus, but the on-demand catalog alone is unmatched.

  • Animation fans: From Beavis and Butt-Head to Avatar, Paramount Plus is like an all-you-can-eat buffet of iconic animated shows and movies. Paramount Network offers basically no cartoons.

  • Movie lovers: With 2,500+ options spanning new releases, classics, indies and everything in between, Paramount Plus is far superior to Paramount Network‘s relatively small rotation of films.

  • Sports nuts: Paramount Plus offers some live sports like NFL games and soccer. But sports fans will likely want a more robust service like DirecTV Stream for access to all the major sports channels and events.

I think you get the idea – Paramount Plus offers infinitely more to watch compared to Paramount Network‘s streamlined cable channel lineup.

Feature Comparison: Streaming vs. Cable

Beyond just content libraries, Paramount Network and Paramount Plus offer completely different viewing experiences based on their media delivery platforms.

As a traditional cable channel, Paramount Network has limited functionality revolving around live viewing:

  • No pausing, playlists, or streaming on-demand
  • Must watch episodes as they air live
  • Can only record shows via a DVR
  • No personalized profiles or watchlists

By contrast, Paramount Plus provides a full suite of standard streaming features:

  • Unlimited on-demand access
  • 4K HDR streaming on select content
  • Profiles for personalized watchlists and recommendations
  • Offline downloading for mobile devices
  • Parental controls and PIN-restricted profiles
  • Some live sports and news in certain markets

For tech-savvy cord-cutters, Paramount Plus clearly provides a much more advanced, flexible viewing experience. But for cable subscribers unfamiliar with streaming, Paramount Network keeps things simple with familiar channel surfing and scheduled airings.

Here‘s a handy comparison chart:

Paramount Network Paramount Plus
On-Demand No Thousands of shows & movies
Profiles No 6 personalized profiles
Personalized Recommendations No Yes
DVR/Playlists Yes, with cable DVR Yes
Pause/Rewind Can rewind live TV with DVR Yes
4K Streaming No Select titles
Offline Downloads No Select titles
Live Sports & Events No Limited NFL, soccer & more

Availability and Devices Supported

Since Paramount Network is a cable channel, its availability is severely limited compared to the broad device support offered by Paramount Plus.

Where to Get Paramount Network

Paramount Network is only accessible by signing up for a full cable, satellite, or virtual TV provider. Options include:

  • Cable companies like Spectrum, Xfinity, Cox
  • Satellite providers like DISH and DirecTV
  • Live online TV services like YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV
  • Some streaming devices and services with live channel packages like Sling TV

Once you have a subscription package with Paramount Network, you can watch the channel through:

  • The cable/satellite box itself
  • Provider apps and websites that show live feeds
  • Certain streaming devices if you login with TV provider credentials

Without a standard TV bundle, there‘s no way to get Paramount Network as an individual channel.

Paramount Plus Device Availability

Paramount Plus is far more widely available as an over-the-top streaming service. You can access Paramount Plus on:

  • Mobile: Android, iOS, Fire tablets
  • TV Streaming: Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV
  • Game Consoles: PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S
  • Smart TVs: Samsung Tizen, LG WebOS, VIZIO SmartCast, Android TV
  • Web Browsers

That covers virtually any phone, tablet, computer or TV with internet access. Paramount Plus also allows streaming on up to 3 devices simultaneously per account.

So while accessing Paramount Network requires paying for an expensive live TV bundle, you can stream Paramount Plus conveniently on almost any device you own.

Pricing Comparison: Cable vs. Streaming

Lastly, let‘s look at the pricing differences between Paramount Network via cable/satellite and streaming Paramount Plus directly.

Paramount Network Pricing

Since Paramount Network is only available through a TV provider, there‘s no direct consumer pricing. Instead, you‘ll pay these general costs:

  • Satellite TV packages – $50-$150+ per month

    • Entry DISH packages with Paramount Network start around $50/month
    • Mid-tier DIRECTV packages with the channel go up to $120-150
  • Cable TV packages – $50-$100+ per month

    • Basic cable bundles often start around $50+
    • Mid-level packages to get Paramount Network run $75-$100 on average
  • Live TV streaming – $50-$85 per month

    • YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV Stream all cost $65+ and carry Paramount Network

In summary, you‘re looking at a $50-$150 monthly bill just to get access to Paramount Network, with the exact cost depending on:

  • Number of channels in your package
  • HD and DVR add-ons
  • Bundle pricing when adding internet, home phone, etc.

It‘s an expensive proposition just for one channel!

Paramount Plus Pricing

As a direct-to-consumer streaming service, Paramount Plus offers simple and affordable pricing. Plans break down as:

  • Essential – $4.99/month or $49.99/year

    • Limited ads
    • HD streaming (up to 1080p)
  • Premium – $9.99/month or $99.99/year

    • Ad-free
    • 4K HDR streaming
    • Offline downloads
    • Live CBS in select markets

You can also bundle Paramount Plus with other streaming services at a discounted rate, such as:

  • Paramount Plus + SHOWTIME – $11.99/month
  • Paramount Plus + BET+ – $9.99/month

Based on standard pricing, you‘re looking at just $50-120 per year for Paramount Plus depending on the plan. That‘s the full yearly cost of what it often takes monthly to get Paramount Network through cable!

The Bottom Line

So in summary, Paramount Network vs. Paramount Plus stacks up like this:

  • 📺 Paramount Network offers live viewing of original dramas and reality shows. It requires an expensive cable package costing $50+ monthly.

  • 🖥️ Paramount Plus provides an affordable streaming library of new and classic movies/shows from CBS, MTV, and more Paramount brands for just $5-$10 monthly.

If you still subscribe to cable or satellite, Paramount Network provides a nice channel addition to watch shows as they air live.

But for most cord-cutters, Paramount Plus is simply the superior service overall with thousands more streaming options at a fraction of the cost of cable.

So I hope this detailed look at Paramount Network compared to Paramount Plus helps guide your decision between traditional cable and streaming! Let me know if you have any other questions.