Following in the footsteps of HBO’s decision to spin-off its HBO Go into a stand-alone service, Showtime will probably begin offering a similar service in 2015. In an earnings call, Les Moonves — the CEO of CBS Corporation, which owns Showtime — says we’ll “fairly definitively” be able to watch Showtime without a cable subscription.
No further details were revealed, and we still don’t have any firm details on the HBO Go service, but expect to be able to subscribe to both for $10 to $15 a month, which is not a bad deal, particularly if you are a heavy movie watcher, as both HBO and Showtime offer a better rotating choice of newer movies to watch than Netflix. It will also mean we can watch Shameless, Homeland, Masters of Sex, and, um, The Affair without a subscription, which is to say: It might not be worth it for their television offerings, at least not at the moment. However, Showtime has a few high-profile offerings coming soon, including a Twin Peaks revival in 2016, and J.J. Abrams and Cameron Crowe’s Roadies coming next year.
On the other hand, if all of these cable channels continue to roll out their own stand-alone services, a cable subscription might not begin to look so bad, especially if we’re paying $10-$15 a piece for eight or nine networks, which might ultimately equal what we’re paying overall for cable (minus the hassle of Time Warner/Comcast).
You can already subscribe to CBS stand-alone service for $5.99 a month, despite the fact that CBS is technically a free broadcast network.