Starting in July, you'll be able to stream Showtime content to Roku and PlayStation Vue for $10.99 a month.
Showtime announced the new platforms for its stand-alone service via a press release Monday. Roku and PlayStation will join Apple -- a previously announced partner -- as launch providers for the service, which will allow on-demand access to movies and original series like "Homeland," as well as live broadcasts of the network's "East and West Coast feeds," all without a cable subscription.
So, if you simply must watch "Ray Donovan" as it airs, you can.
Showtime's streaming service -- which a company spokeswoman told The Huffington Post will simply be called "Showtime" in an effort to avoid confusion in the marketplace -- will cost less than the $14.99-per-month HBO Now. HBO doesn't offer live streaming through its HBO Now app as Showtime will with its service. And while the two share Apple as a partner, Showtime's new service will also be on different, TV-focused platforms: Roku, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 are basically assured to be hooked up to an HDTV. HBO Now is currently available via the Web, Apple TV and iOS devices, with Android support coming this summer.
But Showtime has some shortcomings compared to HBO Now. PlayStation Vue is currently only available to customers in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia, meaning most people will have to choose between Roku and Apple devices. However, the Showtime spokeswoman said more partnerships may be announced in coming weeks. And Showtime lacks a juggernaut like "Game of Thrones" to lure in new customers. That HBO show boasted just under 8 million viewers when its new season premiered in April.
Showtime's offerings aren't quite as impressive, numbers-wise. "Ray Donovan" has a record high of around 2 million viewers, while "Homeland" collected a bit more than 2 million at its peak. When "Dexter" ended, it set a record for the network with 2.7 million viewers.
So, who might these streaming services attract? According to The New York Times, there are 10 million homes in the U.S. with Internet but no cable or satellite TV subscriptions. HBO arguably has a smaller streaming-only base to draw from because more people subscribe to its package on cable. HBO reportedly reaches about 8 million more households in the United States than Showtime.
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