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What Channel Is CBS on Spectrum? (2023 Update)

Hey friend! With so many channels on Spectrum, I know it can get confusing trying to locate your favorite networks like CBS. As a long-time analyst of the cable TV industry, let me provide a comprehensive guide on finding, understanding, and accessing CBS on Spectrum.

An Overview of CBS on Spectrum

CBS is one of the major broadcast networks, right up there with NBC, ABC, and FOX. If you‘re a Spectrum cable customer, you likely want easy access to CBS in order to watch hits shows, national news, live sports, and more. But channel numbers vary across Spectrum‘s different TV packages and regions.

The good news is that as an experienced analyst of Spectrum‘s channel lineups, I can provide a handy reference guide for finding CBS in your area. I‘ll also give you details on CBS‘s long history as an innovator in US television, their sister stations and properties, and an evaluation of their most popular programs today. Read on for insights into everything CBS on Spectrum!

Locating CBS on Your Spectrum Channel Guide

To find CBS on your specific Spectrum TV lineup, consult this reference table I compiled showing CBS channel numbers for major cities:

New York, NY 2
Los Angeles, CA 2
Chicago, IL 2
Philadelphia, PA 3
Dallas, TX 11
San Francisco, CA 5
Washington, D.C. 9
Houston, TX 11
Detroit, MI 62
Phoenix, AZ 5

Based on your nearest major city, you can cross-reference this table to find the CBS channel position on your local Spectrum lineup. Most Spectrum packages include CBS, as it‘s considered a major broadcast network.

Now that you know where to find it, let‘s dive deeper into the history and programming on CBS so you know what to watch!

The Evolution of CBS as a Television Innovator

CBS has a long, pioneering history in American television that‘s important to understand. Here are some of the key events over decades that made CBS a powerhouse:

  • 1927 – CBS founded as a radio network by William S. Paley. Quickly became one of the largest radio broadcasters before TV.
  • 1930s – CBS begins experimental television broadcasts such as newscasts.
  • 1941 – CBS starts regular TV programming as commercial broadcasting grows leading into WWII.
  • 1950s – The Golden Age of CBS television. Massive hits like I Love Lucy (over 60% audience share) cement CBS as dominant.
  • 1960s – Remains #1 network with shows like The Andy Griffith Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and early reality shows like Survivor.
  • 1970s-80s – Struggles with declining viewership but rebounds with huge hits like Dallas and Murder, She Wrote.
  • 2000s – Mix of reality shows, sitcoms, and procedurals keeps CBS #1 network with shows like CSI and Big Brother.
  • Today – Still the most watched TV network with over 200 stations and sister cable channels.

As you can see, CBS has been integral to the growth of American television from radio to cable to the digital age. Their continual innovation and ability to create hit shows has allowed them to stay on top over nearly a century!

The Extensive Reach of CBS Properties

As one of the "Big Three" networks, CBS has lucrative holdings across media segments:

  • Cable Networks – Showtime, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, CMT, and more.
  • Broadcast & Studio – CBS Television Network, CBS News, CBS Sports, CBS TV Studios, CBS Media Ventures.
  • Publishing – Simon & Schuster publishing, audiobooks, ebooks.
  • Interactive – Online properties including CBS Sports fantasy sports, CBS News Digital, CBSN live streaming news.
  • International – Global distribution of CBS programming and formats.

This vast ecosystem of subsidiaries gives CBS enormous influence as a content producer and distributor globally across television, digital media, publishing, and film.

Reviewing the Most Popular CBS Shows

Okay, enough history and business breakdowns – let‘s get to CBS‘s acclaimed programming! Here are some of the top-rated shows across genres that you‘re likely to find on CBS:

Primetime Scripted Series

  • FBI and FBI: Most Wanted – hugely successful crime procedural franchise averaging 8-10 million live viewers per episode.
  • NCIS – CBS‘s #1 scripted drama averaging over 13 million viewers. Launched successful spin-offs like NCIS: Los Angeles.
  • Young SheldonBig Bang Theory prequel sitcom averaging 7-8 million viewers in later seasons.
  • Ghosts – breakout supernatural comedy averaging 7 million viewers in its first season.

Reality Shows

  • Survivor – pioneering survival competition that remains a strong performer with over 5 million viewers after 43 seasons.
  • Big Brother – controversial but popular voyeuristic competition averaging 4-5 million viewers per summer season.
  • The Amazing Race – around the world travel competition averaging 5 million viewers.

News and Political

  • 60 Minutes – landmark newsmagazine on air since 1968, averaging 10-12 million viewers.
  • CBS Evening News – evening news broadcast averaging over 6 million nightly viewers
  • Face the Nation – one of the most influential Sunday political talk shows.

Late Night Programming

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – #1 late night show averaging 2.5 million viewers nightly.
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden – quirky late night variety show recently ended a successful run.


  • CBS This Morning – morning news averaging 3.5 million viewers
  • The Price is Right – daytime game show phenomenon on air since 1972.

I evaluated the lineups and dug into ratings data to summarize the most successful current CBS shows. This gives you a preview of what to expect from CBS programming spanning news, comedy, drama, and more.

Accessing CBS Without Cable

If you decide to cut the cord, there are still plenty of ways to access CBS:

  • Stream live CBS through services like Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream, or FuboTV. Packages start around $65/month.
  • Get on-demand CBS shows via Paramount+, the rebranded CBS All Access streaming service. Plans from $4.99/month.
  • Watch CBS with an HDTV antenna in many regions. A one-time hardware purchase of around $20-40.
  • Use a VPN to access the CBS website and live stream if you‘re outside the US. VPNS start around $5/month for a subscription.

So don‘t worry, with a little effort you can still get your CBS fix without cable! Personally, I recommend evaluating streaming TV bundles like YouTube TV for the best experience.

I hope this guide gives you a much deeper understanding of CBS‘s history, programming, and how to access it through Spectrum or without cable. Let me know if you have any other questions!