Fans of premium cable channels may be able to stop paying through the nose for them sooner rather than later. Earlier this year, HBO announced that it would launch a standalone streaming service in 2015, and now competitor Showtime has followed suit.
The acclaimed channel currently hosts popular shows such as Masters of Sex, Penny Dreadful, and Shameless, and previously played host to offbeat fan favorites like The Borgias, The L Word, and Weeds. It also costs a pretty penny: Providers like Comcast and DirecTV often charge anywhere between $10 and $15 per month for Showtime on top of an existing cable package.
During a CBS third quarter financial results meeting (CBS owns Showtime), chief executive officer Leslie Moonves discussed Showtime at length. He explained that Showtime was responsible for a large part of the company’s 2 percent revenue increase. In order to capitalize on Showtime’s popularity, CBS will introduce an online streaming service for Showtime programs sometime in 2015.
Whether the service will be subscription or à la carte, when it will launch, and how much it will cost are all still up in the air. However, it will be a standalone service — no preexisting cable package required. As it stands, users can indeed stream Showtime series with their computers, mobile devices, and set-top boxes, but doing so requires a cable subscription with a Showtime package.
If HBO and Showtime inspire a large number of videophiles to finally cut the cord and live with streaming services instead of cable subscriptions, expect other premium channels to follow suit. If this trend continues, 2015 could wind up as the year that a cable subscription is no longer necessary to (legally) keep up with premium shows.
More from Tom’s Guide:
Copyright 2014 Tom’s Guides, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.