CEO comments suggest premium channels could have future standalone subscriptions
Subscriptions to Showtime and HBO separate from a cable television service could still happen, according to comments made at an investor conference. The CEOs of Time Warner and CBS both made similar statements, suggesting the channels may be available without requiring a cable subscription, with viewers able to watch shows over the Internet.
Live streaming locked to authenticated subscription
In addition to an updated iTunes Festival app, the Apple TV has also been refreshed with Showtime Anytime, an app for the Showtime TV network. While some episodes are available on-demand for free, full use of the app -- including live streaming -- requires authenticating a subscription with compatible providers. That list includes AT&T U-Verse, Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, Optimum, Time Warner, Verizon FiOS, and a number of regional firms.
Also makes iPhone 5, iOS 6 changes
Showtime has released v1.4 of Anytime, its video-on-demand app for iOS. The new version opens up access to Comcast XFINITY subscribers. Previously, only AT&T U-verse, DIRECTV, Optimum, and Verizon FiOS were supported.
Initially limited to U-verse, FiOS subscribers
Cable channel Showtime has launched a new iPad app, Showtime Anytime. The app provides on-demand access to a selection of movies and TV shows. Showtime in fact promises access to all of its original series, such as Dexter, Homeland, Californication, and Showtime Championship Boxing. Movies include the likes of Inglourious Basterds and The King's Speech.
Vudu adds TV shows for first time
Vudu chose Tuesday to throw itself into more direct competition with iTunes and Netflix by carrying TV shows. The deal gives it access to shows from ABC, AMC, Fox, HDNet, Palm, Showtime, Sony, Starz, and The CW, such as Weeds and The Walking Dead. As a paid service, its episodes will show a day after the air date rather than weeks or months like on Netflix.
Netflix gets more Fox TV deals
Netflix on Friday landed another of its key content deals by expanding its relationship with Fox. The deal will dip into more classic shows like Ally McBeal and The Wonder Years but also give access to parts of more current content, such as the first season of Glee and the the first two seasons of Sons of Anarchy. Some movies will also be coming, but unlike most of Netflix's recent deals, will have to wait until after the pay TV window expires.
Dexter and Californication to be affected
Showtime is reportedly moving to pull some of its original content from contracts involving Netflix. A Hollywood Reporter report suggests the company, which is owned by CBS, has decided to omit the previous seasons of Dexter and Californication when the current Netflix deal expires later this year.
Interactive service tested during MMA program
Verizon on Thursday announced that FiOS TV subscribers will now be able to access Showtime Sports Interactive content. The new service uses the Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) to bring interactive on-screen widgets to certain sports shows. Initial offerings will include boxing and mixed martial arts events broadcast in HD resolution.
Showtime, Sony leading experiment
A symbolic change in the video industry is beginning as studios begin shipping videos ahead of their Blu-ray and DVD releases. Lionsgate-owned TV network Showtime has begun selling previously aired episodes of its show Weeds (iTunes) before their release on packaged DVDs, breaking with a tradition of often holding back on Internet releases of whole seasons or movies before physical copies appear. Many TV networks release new episodes through online services the day after airing but seldom release complete packages ahead of time.