Not wanting their competitor HBO to steal every last bit of thunder in the streaming business, Showtime is getting into the mix by signing a deal with Roku that will allow access to their content. The first offerings will be for a few full episodes and promotional content for their shows Shameless and House of Lies. The content will come to Roku boxes courtesy of Brightcove's Video Cloud. It's becoming an On Demand world, and Showtime doesn't want to get left behind. HBO GO, which is also available on Roku, has been a tremendous success.
Roku Box Owners Can Now Stream Showtime Content
It doesn't appear that you will need a cable subscription like you do for HBO GO, but the content is also limited to select episodes, behind-the-scenes interviews, highlights, and such. HBO GO offers pretty much the whole farm, but you can't blame Showtime for wanting to simply dip their toe in the water to see how it goes first before possibly unleashing full seasons of say, Dexter. My guess is that's what you'll eventually see with Showtime once they can crunch the numbers, and you'll see a similar Showtime product that rivals HBO GO.
Showtime has already experimented some with House of Lies (not to be confused with the upcoming Netflix series House of Cards), starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell. The network put a full (slightly edited) version of the premiere episode on their YouTube channel last week. Which hey, you can watch right here through the magic of embedding:
Shameless has been Showtime's new, big critical hit over the past year. Starring the awesome William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, it portrays the dysfunctional Gallagher family. And of course this just gives me a chance to talk about Emmy Rossum and show a clip that will make everyone fall in love with her:
Showtime's foray into streaming is exciting news and I'm sure yet another sign of things to come.