By Sahil Patel
It’s no secret that — like HBO — Showtime has also been working on an over-the-top video service that would allow the cord-cutters and “cord-nevers” of the world to watch its content without needing a traditional pay-TV subscription. HBO launched HBO Now earlier this spring, and now Showtime is ready to debut Showtime (yep, same name as the channel) in July.
The service will cost $10.99 per month, which is $4 less than what HBO Now currently goes for, and will launch in early July to coincide with the July 12 premieres of the network’s hit series “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex.”
As with HBO Now, Showtime’s over-the-top version will initially, exclusively, be available on Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. Those who sign up ahead of its launch will receive a 30-day free trial.
Additional platforms and providers will be announced soon, the network added.
The Showtime app will feature every season of the network’s current original series, including “Homeland,” “Penny Dreadful,” and “House of Lies,” as well as “hundreds of hours” of movies, documentaries, and sports programming, the network said. It will also include a live stream of both the east and west feeds of Showtime.
The goal for Showtime, as it is with any other network planning an over-the-top expansion, is to reach the estimated 10 million households in the US who pay for internet but don’t pay for TV through a traditional provider. It’s not cannibalization, it’s new-customer acquisition, according to Les Moonves, CEO of Showtime parent CBS Corp., which earlier this year launched a similar subscription-based over-the-top service for its flagship CBS network.