Good news for NOW users: The global streaming service, Paramount+, has been free for Sky Cinema users for quite a while now. NOW subscribers, however, have been left on the sidelines. But this week, things are changing.
Some NOW subscribers can now get Paramount+ at no extra cost (sort of) – but only if they sign up for a specific, 6-month long NOW bundle that includes the Entertainment and Cinema memberships.
This means you have to join NOW for at least 6 months. Sky has recently been encouraging people to do this by offering special deals and discounts on these 6-month fixed-term plans.
That, of course, removes some of the flexibility NOW has always been known for (see full details below).
- Also See: Our Cheap NOW TV Deals, Vouchers And Free Passes 2023 Guide
What Is Paramount+?
Paramount+ is a global streaming service that launched in the UK one year ago. It offers content from CBS, Showtime and Paramount Pictures, as well as exclusive, original programmes.
It offers some popular originals and library shows, including the fantasy hit Yellowjackets, Yellowstone, 1923, Tulsa King, most Star Trek shows and films (Strange New Worlds Season 2 recently returned), and more.
The streaming service is also home to a wide selection of new blockbuster films, including Top Gun: Maverick.
Unlike the US version of Paramount+, the UK version doesn’t support 4K (Ultra HD) or Dolby Atmos audio.
Paramount+ normally costs £6.99/month or £69.90/year in the UK, with a free 7-day trial available to everyone.
Since its debut in the UK, Sky Cinema customers, who also have Sky Q, Sky Glass or Sky Stream, can get Paramount+ for free, as a “bonus” – but NOW customers were left out, until now.
Last year, Sky launched Sky Stream, which is also a streaming service from Sky – but one that only works with the Sky Stream puck, and has a different interface (and pricing scheme) – See our Sky Stream VS NOW comparison.
NOW offers three main content packages (“memberships”):
- NOW Entertainment, normally at £9.99/m, with Sky’s TV channels, including Sky Atlantic, and content for kids.
- NOW Cinema, normally at £9.99/month. Identical to the Sky Cinema plan on Sky, with new blockbusters and back-catalogue films.
- NOW Sky Sports, normally at £34.99/month. Almost identical to Sky Sports on Sky (with Racing, Mix and News being part of this membership instead of Entertainment).
Then there’s NOW Boost, which costs £6/month. It’s an add-on which adds Full HD (1080p) video quality, Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, no adverts (for on-demand content – you’ll still see adverts on Sky’s live channels), and the ability to stream on up to 3 devices at the same time (instead of just one).
NOW used to offer free 7-day trials for its Cinema and Entertainment passes – but those are no longer available, at least for the time being.
How To Get Paramount+ For Free On NOW
A new deal that’s available for a limited time (we’re not sure for how long, so hurry up if you’re interested) offers both the Cinema and Entertainment memberships for one discounted price – £15/month, along with Paramount+ at no extra cost, for 6 months.
Once you sign up, you’ll get an e-mail within 24 hours – that explains how to claim your free Paramount+ subscription.
It’s important to note that this deal is only available for NEW Paramount+ subscribers. I assume that means you can’t have an active subscription – but you may be able to use it if you were subscribed in the past (otherwise there’s always the possibility of signing up under a different e-mail address).
Paramount+ won’t be tied up to your NOW subscription in terms of where you can watch it – it’ll be a standalone subscription (with its own login details) that will work on any device that supports the Paramount+ app.
The Catch: A 6 Months Commitment
NOW was always known for being a service with a rolling, monthly contract that you can cancel anytime. It still is – but this offer (which is optional, of course) – changes things.
While it may sound like you have “up to” six months to enjoy this deal, it’s actually a commitment of a “minimum” of six months.
This means that you’re tied into this deal, paying £15 per month, for the entire six-month duration.
You can technically cancel early – but if you decide to terminate your subscription before the six months have passed, your cancellation will only become effective after the conclusion of the six-month term.
Essentially, this means you’re on the hook for the £15 per month, irrespective of when you choose to cancel within that period.
Once those six months are up – your subscription will auto-renew at full price, so you’ll start paying £19.98/month (or more, if the prices happen to change by then) for NOW, and £6.99/month for Paramount+.
Before that happens, however, you can cancel your subscription – just make a note of it so you won’t forget.
Along with this offer, you also get a 1-month free trial of NOW Boost – which will then renew at its normal £6/month price – but you CAN cancel boost before those 30 days are up, as it’s not a part of the six-month minimum term.
(Note: some users are still seeing the older, £12/m deal that doesn’t include Paramount+. I’m assuming that’s a temporary technical glitch on NOW’s website).
Is This A Good Deal?
Earlier this month, NOW had a different deal running – a Cinema and Entertainment bundle for just £12/month, for the same 6 months – but without Paramount+.
So, one might say you’re now paying those extra £3 for the addition of Paramount+… so that’s not exactly “at no extra cost”.
Still getting NOW Cinema, NOW Entertainment and Paramount+ at full price, would cost £26.97/month – so you’re still saving £12 every month (for six months).
Having said that, the whole point of cord cutting and streaming TV, in my eyes, is the flexibility that you get – subscribe to Netflix for a couple of months, then cancel and switch to Paramount+, then get a month of NOW to watch that one show you’re interested in… and when you go on holiday, or you’re having rough financial times – just cancel everything.
Long-term contracts with minimum terms take away that flexibility.
But if you’re definitely planning to be a NOW subscriber for six months or more (for both Entertainment and Cinema), and you were thinking about Paramount+, then you might as well subscribe to all three at the discounted price.