Apple won't be the only platform getting access to Showtime’s new standalone streaming service, when it comes online in early July.
The premium programmer announced Monday that it will also offer the OTT, standalone version of Showtime on Roku players and Roku TVs. Additionally, the Showtime service will become available via Sony’s PlayStation Vue, the new virtual MVPD that launched services in three markets – New York, Chicago and Philadelphia – in mid-March.
Showtime has not identified a specific launch date for the new standalone streaming service and Showtime's availability on an a la carte basis via PlayStation Vue, but it will become available, for $10.99 per month, on all of those platforms prior to the July 12 season premieres of Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex. Roku customers who sign up in July will be offered a 30-day free trial subscription to the new Showtime standalone offering.
Update/Clarification: At launch, consumers can subscribe to the Showtime standalone streaming service directly from the Showtime app on Apple and Roku devices. At sign up, consumers will be asked to create a Showtime account which they can then use to watch the service across all Apple and Roku devices as well as online at www.showtime.com, regardless of where they initially purchased their subscription, the programmer noted. PlayStation Vue, meanwhile, is a separate cloud-based TV service where consumers can access the network’s programming nationwide for an a la carte monthly price of $10.99.
Showtime unveiled the standalone service on June 3, announcing it would be offered on Apple devices, including the Apple TV, the iPhone and iPad, for $10.99 per month. Showtime will also offer the OTT service, which features the channel’s east and west coast feeds and a video-on-demand library, on Web browsers.
HBO Now, the standalone OTT service launched by HBO in April, is distributed by Apple and Cablevision Systems and, this summer, will also become available via Google Play, extending access to Android-powered platforms, including those that run on the new Android TV OS.
Showtime Anytime, the programmer’s authenticated TV Everywhere service that requires users to have a pay TV subscription, is currently offered on Web browsers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Roku players and Roku TVs, the Amazon Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Apple TV, and is also optimized for the Google Chromecast streaming adapter.
“We are thrilled that Roku and Sony have come on board for our launch in early July,” Matthew Blank, chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks, said in a statement. “Both platforms have distinct and loyal audiences and together they will build on our service and greatly expand the number of homes that will have access to the SHOWTIME service over the internet. This is fundamental to Showtime’s strategy of putting the choice in the hands of the consumers regarding how, when and on what unique devices they watch our programming.”
“Showtime has been a great partner over the years and Roku’s inclusion as an initial launch platform for the SHOWTIME streaming service speaks volumes to our shared commitment to offer consumers the best entertainment experience available,” added Steve Shannon, general manager of content and services at Roku.
“We’re thrilled to launch SHOWTIME within PlayStation Vue,” said Dwayne Benefield, vice president, head of PlayStation Vue at Sony Network Entertainment International. “We can’t think of a better partner with whom we can begin to extend our revolutionary television experience to a nationwide audience."