Showtime has just announced that its new Internet-only subscription service will launch next month.
Similar to HBO Now, the service will offer Showtime's content to those who prefer to view the premium cable channel's offerings without a cable or satellite subscription.
On July 12, Showtime fans can watch episodes of their favorite series, such as Penny Dreadful, Homeland, Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex on their Apple devices. As with HBO Now, Showtime wants to have a limited time of Apple exclusivity for the service.
Showtime however plans on undercutting HBO in one way: by offering their subscription for a lower price. The service will cost $10.99 per month, as compared with HBO Now's $15 per month. That near-$11 price tag lets subscribers watch live episodes online as they are broadcast on both coasts, in addition to providing unlimited on-demand access to all of Showtime's current programming.
"We're excited to offer consumers the opportunity to subscribe in new ways, by simply having an Internet connection," said Showtime Networks CEO Matthew C. Blank. "Our intent is to make Showtime available to viewers via every manner possible, giving them an enormous amount of choice in accessing our programming, starting with the season premieres of our award-winning series Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex."
Like HBO Now, which has an initial sign-up period, Showtime will offer a 30-day free trial to everyone who signs up for the service through Apple. Eventually, the service will roll out to other devices, so users can watch their favorite series in a variety of ways, including the Showtime.com website.
So who's next? Now that the two heavy-hitters in premium cable channels are offering Internet-only services, will Starz follow? With the highly anticipated Ash vs. Evil Dead series coming this fall, it's likely we'll see an announcement from the network about a streaming-only option before then.
Showtime's parent company, CBS, is no stranger to streaming-only service and already offers much of its content to Internet viewers via its $6.99-per-month CBS All Access.