Cablevision and CBS have just announced a deal that, effective immediately, lets the cable company's subscribers watch a live stream of CBS both in and out of the home. Under traditional TV Everywhere deals, you're only permitted to view live programming when on your home Wi-Fi network; go anywhere else and you're stuck with on-demand content. But this pact changes that — so long as you're streaming from a market where CBS itself owns and operates the local CBS channel. Thankfully that's the case in a lot of big cities: Cablevision customers in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore all benefit from the new CBS deal.
You can stream CBS from CBS.com or using the CBS app on a smartphone or tablet. Chromecast also works fine if you're watching on a TV screen. This isn't a monumental deal, exactly; all it takes to watch CBS at home is an antenna, after all. But the convenience of watching away from your Wi-Fi connection — and without having to pay for CBS All Access — is definitely nice if you're a paying Cablevision customer. And it's another sign of "progress" that the cable industry will likely use to push back against the FCC's plan to open up the cable box. "Things are already opening up," they'll say. If customers can watch an authenticated live stream whenever and wherever they'd like, why does the FCC need to get involved?
"We applaud Cablevision in recognizing the value of delivering CBS programming to its subscribers outside the home, so they can watch CBS whenever they want on whichever device they choose," said Ray Hopkins, president of TV networks distribution at CBS. Cablevision is in the midst of being acquired by European cable company Altice for $17.7 billion.