Showtime Launches Video Streaming Service

First Comcast, then HBO, now it’s Showtime’s turn. Showtime has just launched a service called Showtime Anytime, which will offer “more than 400 hours of Showtime series, movies, sports and other offerings.”

The service is accessible via ShowtimeAnytime.com or through a cable provider’s broadband portal such as Comcast Xfinity TV. There’s already a great deal of commentary on the rapidly developing suite of services to stream content to subsrcibers rather than deliver it via disc media, traditional broadcast, or cable, and seeing this change in action is a beautiful thing. More content is getting to a broader audience with greater ease and fewer barriers than ever before.

NEW YORK – October 27, 2010 – Showtime Networks has launched SHOWTIME ANYTIME, a new, broadband video-streaming service that will be free to SHOWTIME subscribers through the network’s cable, satellite and telco affiliates. SHOWTIME ANYTIME gives subscribers the flexibility to watch more than 400 hours of the network’s critically acclaimed, award-winning programming, hit movies and sports offerings online, whenever and wherever they’d like to watch it – at home, at the office, or on the go. The announcement was made by Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.

Access to the service may vary by operator – subscribers will either go to ShowtimeAnytime.com, launching commercially later this year, or gain access through their operator’s “TV Everywhere” portal. SHOWTIME subscribers will need to present credentials supplied by their television provider to watch programs on the service. Users will be able to browse the service online, however to watch the network’s programming, the viewer will need to be an authenticated SHOWTIME subscriber. Comcast customers can access the service now through Xfinity TV’s online service at XfinityTV.com. Additional participating MSOs will be announced at a later date.

SHOWTIME ANYTIME will offer current and past seasons of the network’s hit series that include DEXTER™, WEEDS, CALIFORNICATION, NURSE JACKIE, THE BIG C, UNITED STATES OF TARA™, THE REAL L WORD™, THE TUDORS, SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL, and the upcoming comedy and drama series EPISODES, SHAMELESS and THE BORGIAS. Subscribers will also have access to the network’s hit movies, including Academy Award®winner THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, TWILIGHT, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON and ECLIPSE, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, SAW V, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONAand W. among many others. Additionally, the service will provide a diverse mix of comedy specials, provocative documentaries, and hard-hitting sports programming including SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, INSIDE NASCAR, the SUPER SIX WORLD BOXING CLASSIC™and STRIKEFORCE CHALLENGERS MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

So basically the internet is becoming more and more like a television provider, but is that a good thing? One of the great things about Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes is all the content can be found in one place. You don’t have to worry about trying to figure out where to get certain content or how to watch that content on the TV. Will Showtime Anytime play on Roku? What about Google TV? Now you’re talking about more and more different websites and services and trying to find devices that support them all. In this case, I think unification is better and I think that the fragmenting of content among various sources ultimately hurts the consumer.

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