Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus: A Detailed Comparison

The media landscape can be confusing with Paramount’s cable channel and streaming service sharing similar names. Paramount Network and Paramount+ are two distinct entertainment platforms under the same brand umbrella. This guide breaks down the key differences between the linear Paramount Network cable channel and the Paramount+ streaming service.

We’ll explore their content offerings, pricing models, device availability, and overall value propositions. By contrasting these two Paramount platforms, viewers can better determine if the network, streamer, or both should be part of their viewing consumption.

Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus: A Detailed Comparison

1. Platform Type

The fundamental difference between Paramount Network and Paramount Plus lies in the platform type. Paramount Network operates as a traditional cable television channel, catering to audiences through scheduled programming accessible via cable or satellite TV subscriptions. In contrast, Paramount Plus is a digital streaming service that offers a wide range of on-demand content, including movies, TV shows, live sports, and news, accessible through the internet on various devices.

2. Content Library

Paramount Plus boasts a more extensive content library compared to Paramount Network. While Paramount Network focuses on a select mix of original series, syndicated shows, and movies, Paramount Plus provides a vast array of programming from the entire Paramount Global portfolio. This includes exclusive original content, complete seasons of classic and current TV shows from networks like CBS, Nickelodeon, and MTV, as well as a wide selection of movies.

3. Viewing Flexibility

Paramount Plus offers greater viewing flexibility, allowing subscribers to watch content anytime, anywhere, on multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. This on-demand access contrasts with Paramount Network’s traditional model, which requires viewers to tune in at specific times or record shows for later viewing, limiting how and when content can be enjoyed.

4. Subscription Model

The subscription model presents another key difference. Paramount Network is accessible through a traditional cable or satellite TV package, meaning viewers need a subscription to a cable or satellite service that includes the channel. Conversely, Paramount Plus operates on a direct-to-consumer subscription model, allowing individuals to subscribe to the service independently, without the need for a cable TV package, offering more autonomy in content consumption.

5. Regional Availability

Paramount Network’s availability is primarily within the United States, accessible through cable and satellite providers that include the channel in their packages. Its reach is dependent on agreements with these providers, which can vary regionally, potentially limiting its accessibility to certain audiences.

Paramount Plus, being an internet-based streaming service, has a broader potential global reach. It has been rolling out in international markets, including Latin America, Canada, Scandinavia, and parts of Europe, offering localized content in addition to its U.S. programming. This expansion allows for a wider audience base across different regions.

6. Live Sports and News

While Paramount Network does offer some live programming, it does not specialize in live sports broadcasts or news. Its focus remains on entertainment content, such as scripted series, reality TV, and movies, without a significant emphasis on live sports or real-time news coverage.

Paramount Plus differentiates itself by also offering live sports and news content, making it a more comprehensive source of entertainment and information. Subscribers can watch live NFL games, UEFA Champions League matches, and other sporting events, as well as live news through CBSN, enhancing its value to those interested in real-time content.

7. User Interface and Experience

The user experience for Paramount Network is largely dictated by the cable or satellite provider’s interface through which the channel is accessed. This can result in varying levels of navigation and user-friendliness, depending on the provider’s platform and the user’s specific cable package.

Paramount Plus offers a consistent, user-friendly interface across all devices, designed specifically for on-demand content browsing and discovery. It includes features like personalized recommendations, search functionality, and the ability to create multiple profiles, including kid-friendly options, making it easier for users to find and enjoy content tailored to their preferences.

8. Price and Packages

Paramount Network: The cost is indirectly included in your cable or satellite TV subscription package.

Paramount Plus: Offers various subscription options with different pricing:

  • Essential Plan: $5.99/month (with ads)
  • Premium Plan: $11.99/month (ad-free, with additional features like offline downloads and 4K streaming)

Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus: Which One is Better for You?

Choosing between Paramount Network and Paramount Plus depends on your individual viewing preferences and needs. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

If you primarily watch:

  • Cable TV and enjoy shows like Yellowstone and Ink Master: Paramount Network might be sufficient, as it’s included in your cable/satellite subscription.

If you prefer:

  • On-demand streaming with a wider content library: Paramount Plus offers a broader selection, including originals, classic Paramount movies and TV shows, content from other ViacomCBS networks, and even live sports (limited markets).
  • The flexibility to watch on various devices: Paramount Plus is accessible through an app on various devices, while Paramount Network requires a cable/satellite subscription.
  • Features like personalized recommendations, watchlists, and offline viewing: Paramount Plus offers these features, while Paramount Network doesn’t.

Additionally, consider:

  • Cost: Paramount Network’s cost is indirectly included in your cable/satellite subscription, while Paramount Plus offers different tiers with varying prices.
  • Commitment: Paramount Network requires a cable/satellite TV commitment, while Paramount Plus offers monthly subscriptions with more flexibility.


  • Paramount Plus is generally the better option for most viewers due to its wider content library, accessibility, and additional features.
  • Paramount Network might be a suitable choice if you already have cable/satellite TV and are content with its specific programming at no additional cost.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual preferences and priorities. Consider what content you enjoy most, how you prefer to watch, and what features are important to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I watch Yellowstone on Paramount Network for free?

Watch select free full episodes and clips online at If you get the channel through your TV Provider, you can use your TV Provider account credentials to unlock

Is Yellowstone available on Paramount Plus?

Despite airing on the Paramount Network, “Yellowstone” is not currently available on Paramount Plus, and will not be for the foreseeable future. Exclusive on-demand streaming rights belong to Peacock.

Which Paramount plan is suitable for me?

Consider getting Paramount Plus Premium for more sports content, limited ads, local news, the ability to download shows, and utilize 4K, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 features for an enhanced viewing experience.

Are Paramount Network and Paramount Plus the same?

No, Paramount Network and Paramount Plus are separate products. You need Paramount Network through a participating cable TV provider to access Live TV and full episodes. Paramount Plus logins cannot unlock Paramount Network’s website.

What are the differences between Paramount Plus plans?

Paramount Plus offers two main plans: Essential and Premium. Essential includes ads with most on-demand content and excludes Showtime series or movies. Premium is ad-free for on-demand content and includes Showtime content.

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