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Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus: What’s the Catch?

If you are trying to figure out how Paramount Network coverage differs from Paramount Plus, you are in the right place.

I personally lived this experience when trying to figure out how to watch the last season of Yellowstone, the popular breakout series by Paramount (which oddly can’t be found on Paramount Plus).

This led me down the rabbit hole of comparing Paramount Network vs Plus, as I was able to catch a few older seasons on Network recently.

So what are the actual differences? I’ll dive in here with a quick overall summary…

Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus Main Differences

These are the main differences to remember when deciding between Paramount Network and Paramount Plus:

  • Paramount Network is a traditional TV channel, while Paramount Plus is an on-demand streaming service.
  • Paramount Network requires a cable or satellite subscription, while Paramount Plus requires only an email sign-up or a subscription through Amazon Prime.
  • Paramount Plus offers the ability to create multiple profiles and personalized watchlists, whereas Paramount Network does not.
  • Paramount Network does not allow content download, while Paramount Plus does.
  • Paramount Network offers live TV programming, while Paramount Plus also offers live sports and local CBS station streaming.

Paramount Network vs Paramount Plus: Diving Deeper

Let’s delve deeper into the major differences between Paramount Network and Paramount Plus to help you make an informed decision.

User Experience

With its history of name changes and varied content offerings, the user experience on Paramount Network can be somewhat confusing. The look and feel of the platform depend on your service provider and the device you’re using. Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t offer the ability to download content for offline viewing.

In contrast, Paramount Plus offers a straightforward entertainment streaming user experience. You can easily search for specific titles or browse content by genre. The platform also allows you to create a personalized watchlist to keep track of your favourite shows and movies.

Content Programming

As a cable or satellite TV channel, Paramount Network offers live TV programming. One of its most popular shows is Yellowstone, which is not available on Paramount Plus.

Paramount Plus, on the other hand, has a vast library of content covering a range of genres. It also allows you to stream your local CBS station live, although this feature is only available with the highest-paid tier, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME.

Profiles and Watchlists

Paramount Plus allows you to create up to six profiles, which is great for families or households with multiple viewers. Each profile can have its own watchlist, allowing each user to keep track of their favourite content.

In contrast, Paramount Network does not offer multiple profiles or the ability to create a watchlist.


The cost of subscribing to Paramount Network can vary as it requires a cable or satellite provider. Most subscribers pay anywhere from around $50 to $100 a month.

Paramount Plus offers two pricing tiers, Paramount+ and Paramount+ with SHOWTIME. You can choose to pay either monthly or annually.

Is Yellowstone Available on Paramount?

As alluded to the start of this article, figuring out how to watch Yellowstone was the main motivation that led me to this deep dive.

It’s a common problem because Paramount created Yellowstone but oddly can’t be found on Paramount Plus.

To add to to the confusion, Paramount (the network) sold the rights to Yellowstone to Peacock before Paramount Plus launched.

This means that you can’t watch all of Yellowstone on Paramount Plus, at least until their license deal expires with Peacock (reportedly 4 years after the final season airs).

This hasn’t stopped Paramount from launching spinoffs, but Yellowstone may never air a new season on Paramount itself!

What a mess!

Somewhat ironically, the ONLY way to currently watch Yellowstone is as re-runs on Paramount Network. Paramount Plus won’t solve your problems here and instead you’ll need to sign up for Peacock.

Paramount Plus vs Network at a Glance

To summarize the key tradeoffs, here’s how I think about Paramount Plus vs Network:

FeaturesParamount PlusParamount Network
Content SelectionOffers a broader range of content including reality TV shows, drama, movies, and more.Offers shows and movies such as ‘Bar Rescue’ and ‘1883’. Primarily offers made-for-TV movies and reruns of classic shows.
AvailabilityCan be accessed through email or services such as Amazon Prime.Requires a satellite or cable provider.
Free TrialOffers a free trial.Does not offer a free trial.
Number of SubscribersOver 60 million subscribers.Around 351,000 viewers.
Personalized WatchlistAllows multiple profiles and a personalized watchlist.Allows only one profile and does not offer a personalized watchlist.
Subscription Requirements for Certain ShowsAllows for streaming on local CBS stations, but this is only available with a higher-priced subscription.Requires a cable subscription to access.
AudienceProvides age-appropriate viewing options.Does not specify age-appropriate viewing options.

My Final Take on Paramount Plus vs Network

The branding and naming of these Paramount Global offerings is really confusing. That’s clear!

But hopefully now you have a better understanding of which option is better for you.

My personal take is that I much prefer the Paramount Plus offering as it’s more flexible and easier to pause or cancel if I need to (unlike the network cable option which is generally all or nothing OR involves talking to customer service).