Paramount Global is in early discussions to phase out Showtime’s streaming service, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal that cites anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
The content that’s on the platform — including the hit series “Yellowjackets” and “Billions” — will be moved to Paramount+ if the deal moves forward, according to the report.
The news follows the announcement two weeks ago that Paramount+ would be offering a Showtime bundle to U.S. subscribers at a special, limited time price of $7.99 per month for the ad-supported Essential Plan and $12.99 per month for the ad-free Premium Plan through Oct.2, following which prices will increase. In August, it was also revealed that Walmart+ subscribers would be able to access Paramount+ come September, in the retailer’s effort to compete with the dominant Amazon Prime Video.
Reps for Showtime and Paramount+ did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The consideration also comes after larger industry efforts on part of other companies to attract consumers amid the rapidly expanding streaming environment. Early last month, the recently merged Warner Bros. Discovery announced it would launch a combined HBO Max-discovery+ platform in Summer 2023, to fold all of its content into one platform.
According to the Journal’s report, sources said Paramount has “broached the idea” of terminating Showtime’s platform in “conversations with at least one major pay-TV partner.”
Showtime’s popular shows also include “The Chi” and “Dexter: New Blood.” The network just premiered “American Gigolo,” with Jon Bernthal, and will feature the return of “Your Honor” and “The L Word: Generation Q” in the fall. Paramount+ includes Taylor Sheridan’s “1883” and “Star Trek: Discovery.” Fall premieres are “Tulsa King,” “Criminal Minds,” “Wolf Pack,” “1923,” as well as returning series “The Good Fight” and “Seal Team.”
In announcing second quarter earnings for 2022, Paramount said it added 4.9 million subscribers to Paramount+, growing to 43 million total paid subscribers. The 4.9 million adds includes the removal of 1.2 million Russia-based subscribers.