Show­time to of­fer stream­ing ser­vice

Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN - By Stephen Battaglio stephen.battaglio@la­

NEW YORK — Pre­mium ca­ble net­work Show­time will be avail­able as a stand-alone In­ter­net stream­ing ser­vice start­ing in early July.

The ex­act date was not re­vealed in the Wed­nes­day an­nounce­ment of the ser­vice, but Show­time said it would co­in­cide with the July 12 sea­son pre­mieres of its re­turn­ing se­ries “Ray Dono­van” and “Masters of Sex.”

The ser­vice, which will be called Show­time, will make its de­but on Ap­ple de­vices and will cost $10.99 a month — $4 less than lead­ing com­peti­tor HBO’s stream­ing ser­vice called HBO Now. Show­time will be avail­able at launch on Ap­ple de­vices, but the com­pany will not have an ex­clu­siv­ity pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to Show­time Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Matt Blank.

The “over-the-top” ver­sion of Show­time, which through­out its 39-year his­tory has been avail­able only through ca­ble sys­tems and satel­lite TV providers, has been in the works for months. HBO launched its stream­ing ser­vice, HBO Now, in April.

Show­time is be­ing of­fered at a lower price than HBO Now, most likely be­cause the chan­nel’s whole­sale price to ca­ble and satel­lite op­er­a­tors is less than what HBO charges.

Blank said dis­cus­sions with ca­ble and satel­lite op­er­a­tors re­gard­ing the over­the-top ser­vice has gone on for some time, leav­ing them fully briefed on the com­pany’s plans. Although the ser­vice gives con­sumers the op­por­tu­nity to have Show­time’s pro­gram­ming with­out a ca­ble sub­scrip­tion, it will make broad­band In­ter­net ser­vice — which many ca­ble op­er­a­tors also pro­vide — more en­tic­ing.

Show­time has sub­scribers in 24 mil­lion homes. Blank de­clined to fore­cast how many sub­scribers would buy the stream­ing ser­vice, but noted that “there is a lot of op­por­tu­nity here.”

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