Catching up on all of the CIA drama from Homeland just became a bit easier — if you’re a Sling subscriber. As of Wednesday, Sling TV, the over-the-top subscription streaming service, is offering Showtime as a premium channel add-on for $10 per month.
Along with Showtime, Sling TV gets seven more Showtime feeds including Showtime 2, Showtime Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime West, Showtime Next, and Showtime Women. Sling TV customers who add Showtime to their channel package will get access to nearly 2,000 on-demand titles from the premium cable service. Sling TV channel packages start at $20 per month for 30 channels.
Showtime joins a growing list of Sling TV premium channel offerings that includes Cinemax, Starz, and HBO. According to a report by Variety, parent company Dish says the addition of Showtime makes the two-year-old Sling TV the first over-the-top streaming service to offer content from all four of those premium channels. That is a major draw to new customers looking to choose between cord-cutting options.
Bringing Homeland, Billions, and thousands of other titles to Sling TV is only the CBS-owned cable network’s latest move outside the cable arena. When YouTube TV debuts later this year, Showtime will be the only premium channel offered as an add-on. In July 2015, Showtime completely cut the cord by offering a stand-alone streaming service of all of its content for a $10.99 monthly subscription price.
The future is starting to look brighter for services like Sling TV. By July 2016, 25 percent of U.S. households did not have a pay TV subscription, with six percent only using streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu. The trend is expected to only get more widespread, with more than 33 million households anticipated to not be paying for a TV subscription by 2021, according to Statista.
Sling TV has an estimated 1.18 million subscribers, but adding Showtime comes at a time when it’s facing competitors offering attractive skinny bundles. Fellow over-the-top subscription service DirecTV Now garnered 200,000 subscribers in its first month, and its customers recently were able to get HBO for free for as long as they have an AT&T’s Unlimited Plus wireless plan.
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