Paramount Network vs. Paramount Plus: An In-Depth Feature Comparison

When searching for entertainment to stream or view, you may have come across options from the media giant Paramount Global that have similar names but very different offerings. Two of its major brands – Paramount Network and Paramount Plus – seem related but are drastically different services when you explore their content, features, pricing and more.

This guide will give you an in-depth feature-by-feature breakdown to help decide which service best matches your needs as a viewer.

A High-Level Overview

First, let‘s start with a quick high-level overview before diving into the details:

Paramount NetworkCable TV channelA channel focused on dramas, reality shows and movies, available as part of a pay TV subscription from cable/streaming providers
Paramount PlusStreaming serviceA standalone streaming platform with thousands of movies & shows available on-demand from Paramount, CBS and more

So in simple terms:

  • Paramount Network is a traditional TV channel you get via a cable/streaming TV subscription
  • Paramount Plus is a direct-to-consumer streaming app with lots of on-demand content

But that‘s just scratching the surface! Let‘s explore some of the major differences between these two Paramount services…

Content Libraries: Movies, Series & Exclusives

One of the most noticeable differences is the actual entertainment content available on Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus.

Paramount Network focuses heavily on reality shows like Ink Master, Wife Swap and Bar Rescue, scripted drama series like Yellowstone, and made-for-TV movies across genres from comedy to thriller to holiday films.

Paramount Plus, on the other hand, offers an enormous library spanning new releases, legendary films and popular series. Thanks to pulling content from brands like Paramount Pictures, CBS, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, some examples of its exclusive movies and shows include:

  • Movies: Top Gun: Maverick, Mission Impossible series, Transformers, A Quiet Place
  • Series: 1883 (Yellowstone prequel), Star Trek: Discovery, Mayor of Kingstown
  • Kids Shows: SpongeBob Squarepants, Paw Patrol, Avatar: The Last Airbender

And thanks to its distribution partnership with the NFL, Paramount Plus is also the exclusive home to stream NFL games on Sundays.

Here is a breakdown across genres of exclusive content each service offers:

Type of ContentParamount NetworkParamount Plus
Reality Shows✅ Ink Master, Wife SwapSome unscripted but focused on competition
Dramas✅ Yellowstone✅ 1883 (Yellowstone prequel), others
ComediesVery few comedy shows or movies✅ Key & Peele, Inside Amy Schumer
Family/KidsMinimal kids content✅ SpongeBob, iCarly, Paw Patrol etc.
Sci-Fi & FantasyOccasional sci-fi B-movies✅ Star Trek shows new and classic
SportsSometimes UFC, Bellator fights✅ Live NFL games, other sports
MoviesA mix of older Hollywood hits and more recent action titles on TV✅ Major Paramount theatrical films before any other streaming service

So while there is some overlap in dramas between the services, their content libraries differentiate significantly – especially movies and pressing play whenever you want.

Viewing Features: How You Access Content

Entertainment services today are ultimately centered around providing great movies, shows and events for you to enjoy. But the features around how you view that content, and the degree of a personalized, on demand experience can be even more important.

And this is an area where Paramount Plus has a significant advantage over the traditional TV channel limitations of Paramount Network:

  • Multiple user profiles – Up to 6 profiles for one Paramount Plus account so everyone in your household gets their own personalized recommendations, watchlist and viewing history
  • Mobile downloads – Download movies and shows to your mobile device or tablet so you can watch offline when internet connectivity is limited – like on a plane!
  • 4K and HDR – A premium, enhanced viewing experience with sharper visuals and vivid colors on supporting devices
  • Live streams – Choose feeds of CBS and other live channels in certain markets
  • Apps everywhere – Access the full Paramount Plus experience consistently across platforms – mobile, computer, tablets, TV streaming devices etc.

By contrast, Paramount Network lacks many of those advantages that come with streaming and on-demand platforms. It has a linear broadcast schedule as a cable TV network:

  • You simply tune and watch live at scheduled airings
  • DVR recordings to watch later depend on your cable provider‘s equipment
  • Viewing relies on your home television setup, with minimal mobile and on-the-go options beyond mirrors of the live channel feed

So when it comes to the viewing experience itself, Paramount Plus certainly provides greater flexibility and modern streaming advantages.

Cost Breakdown: Plans and Pricing

One area where these services differ tremendously is on pricing and plan options made available directly to the consumer.

Paramount Plus offers intuitive packages to fit both casual streamers and movie buffs alike:

PlanMonthly PriceAnnual Price (savings)Features
Paramount+ Essential$4.99/month$49.99/year (saves 17%)Thousands of movies & shows w/ ads
Paramount+ Premium$9.99/month$99.99/year (saves 16%)All Essential plan features but AD-FREE

Crucially, Paramount Plus can be subscribed directly on a standalone basis – no other services required. You simply sign up with your email, get access across devices, and can modify or cancel anytime.

Paramount Network does NOT have any direct consumer pricing or packages specific to access. This is because:

  • It is a cable TV channel you only get as part of a larger channel bundle from a pay TV provider
  • Minimum pricing for bundles just to access Paramount Network start around $50/month for cable or streaming TV packages
  • Alterations or cancellation of your TV provider plan is the only way to change or stop your Paramount Network access

So when evaluating affordability and flexibility around cost and contracts, Paramount Plus once again beats out limitations inherent with Paramount Network‘s linear television model.

The Best Choice Depends on Your Viewing Tastes

To wrap things up, while both entertainment services bear the Paramount name and offer some great movies, shows and more – Paramount Network and Paramount Plus excel in very different ways.

If you want to kick back and flip through cable TV channels, seeing whatever is playing in the schedule, Paramount Network delivers solid reality and drama programming. But for the ultimate streaming experience boasting the deepest content library, advanced viewing features tailored to how you actually watch movies & series in 2022, and affordable pricing control – I‘d have to give my wholehearted recommendation to Paramount Plus!

Hopefully this detailed feature breakdown better sets expectations around what each Paramount branded service can provide. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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