It was inevitable, and I expect more premium cable TV networks will eventually join the “movement”…
For the first time ever, the Showtime network will be offered over the internet as a stand-alone streaming service, launching in early July, with Apple as its first partner (similar to what HBO did when it launched its HBO Now standalone streaming service a month ago).
The stand-alone service will be called Showtime (nothing more, just Showtime), and its launch will coincide with the new seasons of the network’s hit series “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex,” on Sunday, July 12th. You’ll recall HBO did something similar with the launch of its HBO Now, which happened in time for the season 5 premiere of that premium cabler’s own hit series, “Game of Thrones” in April.
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV users will be able to subscribe to Showtime as a stand-alone service anywhere in the U.S., for one monthly price of $10.99 – that’s cheaper than HBO Now’s $15 price tag, and more competitive with the likes of streaming powerhouses like Netflix and Amazon (although I won’t be surprised to see HBO bring its price down eventually to match the others; or the others may raise their prices).
Additional platforms and providers will be announced soon.
The announcement was made today by Leslie Moonves, CBS Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.
“Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers,” said Moonves. “Across CBS, we are constantly finding new ways to monetize our programming by capitalizing on opportunities presented by technology. This works best when you have outstanding premium content – like we do at Showtime – and when you have a terrific partner like Apple – which continues to innovate and build upon its loyal customer base.”
“At Showtime, we’re excited to offer consumers the opportunity to subscribe in new ways, by simply having an internet connection,” said Blank. “Our intent is to make SHOWTIME available to viewers via every manner possible, giving them an enormous amount of choice in accessing our programming, starting with the season premieres of our award-winning series RAY DONOVAN and MASTERS OF SEX.”
“We’re excited to offer Apple customers SHOWTIME’s live channels and extensive on demand library of great TV shows and movies, without a cable or satellite subscription,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV customers will now be able to subscribe to SHOWTIME directly and instantly start viewing their favorite programming with the same simplicity as buying an app.”
Subscribers will have unlimited on demand access to every season of award-winning Showtime original series, and hundreds of hours of movies, documentary and sports programming, as well as the live broadcast of the east and west coast feeds of Showtime.
Showtime will offer a 30-day free trial to new customers who sign up through Apple in July.
To learn more about Showtime’s standalone streaming service, visit: http://s.sho.com/1FTryf8.