Showtime Networks Inc.'s Showtime HDTV announced Tuesday that it will join DirecTV Inc.'s fourth-quarter holiday promotion.
This marks the first year of Showtime HDTV's involvement and the second for Showtime Networks.
Under the promotion, the satellite provider offers three free months of the "Showtime Unlimited" package when a DirecTV system is bought, along with a one-year commitment -- made within 30 days of the system purchase -- to Showtime Unlimited and any "Total Choice" or "Opcion Extra Especial" program package ($31.99 or more per month).
Showtime Unlimited's package includes nine premium channels on DirecTV -- five Showtime channels, two channels of The Movie Channel, Sundance Channel and Flix.
DirecTV's promotion, which will run through Jan. 11, is designed to capitalize on the annual spike in sales of digital-home-entertainment equipment during the Christmas-holiday season.
With retail prices falling to around $2,000, high-definition-TV sales are expected to show "significant growth" in 2002 and beyond, Showtime Networks said in its press release.
Both Showtime and DirecTV are giving the campaign consumer advertising support -- including national television, print and radio ads -- and point-of-sale retail signage at such outlets as Blockbuster Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc. and Circuit City Stores Inc.
There will also be in-store video advertising to demonstrate HDTV programming at Circuit City stores, Showtime added.