When Showtime debuted its standalone streaming service aimed at cord cutters last week, there was some speculation that Apple had scored another exclusive for its platform, similar to its deal with HBO NOW, as Showtime noted it would initially be available on Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV. It appears that Showtime was not locked into an exclusive deal after all, as the network announced today that the new service will also become available on Roku and Sony’s PlayStation Vue at launch.
The service, which includes access to Showtime’s original programming, sports and movies, is priced a little below HBO NOW’s $15 per month at just $10.99 per month – though that still makes it more expensive than other popular streaming options, like Netflix or Hulu, which are both under $10 monthly. In addition to its content collection for on-demand streaming, Showtime’s app will include both the East and West coast live feeds.
As with its launch on Apple devices, Roku customers in July will be able to try the service for 30 days for free before committing to the monthly fee. To do so, Roku users will be able to go to the Showtime app on their Roku device and create an account to begin watching Showtime right on their television. They’ll also be about to watch on all other supported devices as well as on the web at Showtime.com.
Meanwhile, the cloud-based TV service PlayStation Vue will offer Showtime a la carte for the monthly price of $10.99. (That is, PlayStation users will not have to subscribe to Vue in order to pay for Showtime.)
Showtime was already available to some Roku customers via its “Showtime Anytime” app which offers free access to its programming to those customers who pay for a cable or satellite TV subscription through a traditional provider. However, this is the first time the service will be made available in any format on Vue.
The move to launch on the other platforms will help to expand Showtime’s potential reach – Roku today has 7 million active accounts (households, not devices), for example, and PlayStation has an install base of 35 million users.
Mirroring HBO’s strategy to time the launch of its standalone streaming service with the season premiere of its most popular content, as HBO did with “Game of Thrones,” Showtime is timing the launch of its own service to coincide with the debuts of two of its more better-known programs, “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex” on July 12.
The CBS-owned network also offers a variety of originals, including “Homeland,” “The Affair,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Shameless,” “House of Lies,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Happyish,” “Episodes,” and soon, “Billions” and “Twin Peaks.” And its sports programs include “Showtime Championship Boxing,” “60 Minutes Sports,” and “Jim Rome on Showtime.” Some of the films available on the service include “Boyhood,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Philomena,” “St. Vincent,” “The Imitation Game” and “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”