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Showtime's stand-alone streaming service launches on Apple, Hulu and elsewhere

It's showtime for Showtime's stand-alone streaming service

It’s showtime for Showtime's stand-alone streaming service.

The premium cable network’s digital-only service went live Tuesday morning across a handful of distribution partners — Apple, Roku, Hulu and PlayStation Vue.

The new service, priced at $10.99 a month, allows broadband Internet users on-demand access to the premium cable channel’s roster of programming without a TV subscription.

It costs a few dollars less than the $14.99 broadband users turn over for HBO’s streaming service called HBO Now. Showtime’s service, unlike HBO’s, includes live-streaming options for its East and West coast feeds.

The over-the-top option from Showtime comes as media companies are scrambling to chase younger consumers and others who live in the more than 10 million U.S. homes that pay for only  broadband Internet access with no cable package.

To drum up subscriber interests, all four distribution partners are offering a 30-day free trial.

The debut of the service, simply called Showtime, comes just before Sunday’s season premieres of “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex.”

The service marks the first time that Showtime’s programming is being offered directly to consumers without a pay-TV package offered by a cable or satellite TV operator.

Showtime, which is owned by CBS Corp., is going to great lengths to ensure the stand-alone streaming service taps a wider audience. Its deal with Hulu is the first deal that Hulu has made to showcase a premium cable channel. Hulu’s nearly 9 million paying subscribers can access Showtime’s library of programming for an extra $8.99 a month — on top of the $7.99 a month they pay for a basic Hulu subscription. 

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