"Do people really want a Paramount + account to add to their streaming services." Probably not. It's annoying for sure that one has to sign up for a free trial, then cancel, or already be a Paramount+ subscriber, in order to view the first part of the presentation.
But this is how they decided to roll it out. And we're getting four hours of content instead of three. And we'll be able to see all the awards being given out in real time, along with the full acceptance speeches. To me this is a great improvement over recent years when many awards were given off-screen.
I enjoyed the PBS/CBS years as well! Honestly I enjoyed all the years before that where they somehow managed to give out all the awards on air, and have performances from the nominated musicals, and add the occasional special tribute or performance. All within the scope of the CBS broadcast.