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CBS adding free shows to Pluto TV streaming service

CBS will add free shows to the streaming service Pluto TV in the coming days, a company executive confirmed on Tuesday.

The California-based streaming service will offer a handful of shows from the vast CBS library as a promotional drive for CBS All Access.

Pluto TV was acquired by cable programmer Viacom for $340 million earlier this year. The California-based company has around 18 million monthly active streamers.

In 2019, Pluto TV launched several themed channels based off legacy networks, including MTV, Comedy Central, BET, CMT, Nickelodeon and Paramount. Those channels stream older shows and movies from Viacom’s library, including MTV’s “Beavis and Butt Head,” Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer” and numerous “roast” specials from Comedy Central.

Viacom announced its intention to merge with CBS in August. Following the blockbuster deal, it was speculated CBS would soon offer some of its content on Pluto TV.

On Tuesday, CBS confirmed it would soon offer some of its TV shows and movies on Pluto TV well-ahead of the anticipated close of the merger. The company didn’t say which shows would be offered or if they would be distributed on CBS-themed channels.

Prior to its acquisition by Viacom, Pluto TV already distributed CBSN, a 24-hour digital news channel operated by the news division at CBS. That channel,along with others programmed by AT&T’s CNN, Comcast’s NBC News and Sky News, Newsmax, WeatherNation and RT are still available to stream.

Pluto TV is available as a free application on most streaming devices, phones, tablest and game consoles. It is also available on Vizio TVs as an application called “WatchFree” and is distributed on Comcast’s X1 set-top boxes and Channel Master DVRs.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).