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Showtime Undercuts HBO with $10.99 Standalone Streaming Service

Yahoo Tech

Showtime is launching an internet TV service that will offer access to its back catalog, its current selection of movies, and live streams of its network for $10.99 per month. The service launches on Sunday, July 12th, and it’ll first be available through the Showtime app on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV; subscribers can also watch online. Unlike HBO, Showtime isn’t giving the service a new name — it’s still just Showtime. With its price significantly below the $14.99 per month of HBO Now, Showtime certainly has a compelling argument for choosing its service, although it still has an uphill battle: its series aren’t anywhere near as addictive. A 30 day trial will be offered for new customers.

Another major TV channel heading online is great news for those who want to get their favorite shows without subscribing to cable. HBO began offering a similar service, HBO Now, earlier this year, and CBS, which owns Showtime, launched an online subscription last year. Since then, CBS CEO Les Moonves has been very clear about Showtime’s intention to follow — the network is well aware that there’s money to be made by following consumers’ interests rather than playing it safe with cable providers. “Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers,” Moonves says in a statement.

CBS says that announcements about additional availability of Showtime’s online service will be made “shortly.” It wouldn’t be surprising to see it continue to follow in HBO’s path, pairing up with internet providers for possible bundles with service — it essentially allows them to keep the same business model and maintain their standing as a premium product. The launch with Apple also continues to paint Apple as the place to go for cord cutters. Apple has increasingly put a focus on adding new channels to its streaming box, and it seems to have much bigger plans in the works. Already, Moonves has said that CBS will probably sign on board if Apple launches a streaming TV service.

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