Showtime Lines Up Biggest Free Preview


Showtime, proffering its biggest free preview to date later this month, will present viewers with a special sign-up rate.

The premium network, taking aim at Home Box Office and looking to capitalize on momentum from its original series, will be available to some 54 million homes, via Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, among other distributors, from Sept. 28 through Oct. 1. The preview will be accessible by 17% more viewers than a similar effort last year, according to a spokesman at the premium service.

Moreover, after witnessing a light heavyweight championship fight featuring titleholder “Bad” Chad Dawson on Sept. 29, the second season premieres of dramas Dexter and Brotherhood on Sept. 30, and then installments of original comedies Weeds and Californication the following night, Showtime executives hope to prompt consumer acquisition via a $6.95 rate for the first three months. Typically, Showtime retails for $10 to $12 monthly.

Other distributors involved with the free preview this weekend: Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Mediacom Communications, Insight Communications and Verizon’s FiOS TV.

News of the discount rate and preview period were first reported in the New York Post.