Showtime review

Showtime highlights

  • Starting at $10.99/mo.
  • Available as a standalone service or as an add-on to many top streaming services
  • Start a free 30-day trial

Showtime review

Showtime is a television network and video streaming service that has a strong selection of original content alongside on-demand entertainment and live TV. It offers users some of the best new original TV shows, such as Billions, Homeland and Ray Donovan. The service is available directly or through third-party streaming providers like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu as well as cable and TV providers.

Viacom launched Showtime in 1976 as a cable service in California. The media giant introduced the service nationwide as a competitor to HBO and other paid-for cable networks in 1978. 

Why Showtime may be the right streaming service for you

Showtime is a great option for getting early access to the latest new dramas. It’s also an effective method for cutting the cord when paired with other premium streaming services and free options such as IMDb TV or Tibo.

Showtime packages and pricing

We took a look at how much it costs for people to sign up for Showtime, both directly and through third-party providers. We also compared the Showtime features and the user benefits each service provides.

Here’s a look at the Showtime packages and pricing:

ShowtimeAmazon Prime VideoHulu (Ad-supported)Sling TVfuboTV (standard)AT&T TV NOW
Starting monthly price$10.99/mo.$8.99/mo.$5.99/mo.$30/mo.$54.99/mo.$55/mo.
Price of Showtime add-onN/A $10.99/mo.$10.99/mo. $10/mo.$10.99/mo.$10.99/mo.
Free trial length30 days30 days30 daysNone7 days7 days
Number of Showtime channels2511992
Total number of titles600+26,000+ movies and shows80,000+ episodes and movies30+ channels96 channels45+ channels
Number of simultaneous streams432122
Cloud DVR storageN/AN/A50 hours with upgrade to live plan10 hours30 hours500 hours
Offline viewingYesYesYesNoNoNo
Ad-free optionYesNoYes, with plan upgradeNoNoNo

Showtime bundles, deals and free trials

Though the standalone service does not currently offer any special deals, there is a 30-day free trial available for first-time customers. Looking into the services that offer Showtime as an add-on is where you can really find great bundles, deals and plenty of free trials.

The best Showtime offers don’t currently include any bundles, but services like Roku Channel and Sling TV have offered some premium service bundles in the past. Our advice? Keep your eyes peeled for updated offers.

Sign up for Sling, get Showtime and Epix free for one month

Think of this offer like a signup bonus. For a limited time, when you sign up for a Sling TV subscription, you get $10 off your bill (usually $30) plus access to Showtime and Epix free for 30 days. 

Heads up, if you decide you’re not into Sling after your first month, make sure to cancel before you’re billed for the next one–Sling doesn’t offer any refunds if you cancel in the middle of the month.

Students get a deal on Hulu and Showtime on Spotify

If you’re a student, you’ll want to investigate a student subscription to Spotify Premium. For $4.99/mo., you’ll get ad-free music streaming, access to the ad-supported version of Hulu and Showtime. Just provide the name of your university and your .edu email address to start saving.

Watch Showtime stress-free with a 30-day free trial

Pretty much every platform that offers Showtime also includes a free trial, but the best ones last a whole month. Showtime itself, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video all offer 30-day free trials to test the premium service out.

Device compatibility

Showtime on demand is available through a desktop player and across various devices, including:

Showtime features 

We took a closer look at the features that make Showtime so popular and what you can expect if you sign up.

Content insight

When you click on the content that you want to watch, the service pops up useful information such as a brief synopsis, rating, release year, duration, actors and director.

Take entertainment anywhere

Subscribers to Showtime directly get free access to Showtime Anytime, which means you can download content to your mobile device to watch whenever and wherever you’d like.The feature is also available through most third-party on-demand providers. 

One thing to be aware of: Showtime isn’t available outside of the U.S., so if you’re travelling out of the country, accessing Showtime content is off the table.

Access through an existing streaming provider

If you already have an existing video streaming provider, you can simply purchase Showtime as an add-on. 

Great accessibility

Showtime provides a closed captioning service through its apps and web player, which is great for watching content in a variety of situations or for hearing-impaired viewers. 

What to watch on Showtime

Movies and shows

Movies

Showtime’s on-demand selection includes a list of films that took home the Oscar for Best Picture. On this list are Shakespeare In Love, wartime drama The English Patient, Oliver Stone’s star-packed Platoon and Colin Firth leading the way in The King’s Speech. But perhaps the pick of these Oscar-winners is Spotlight, a gripping true story following a newspaper’s investigation into the Catholic Church in Boston starring Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams.

Further movies to add to the watch list include Denzel Washington in American Gangster and Tom Cruise starring in Days of Thunder and Valkyrie, plus a host of cult hits like Mad Max, Point Break and Total Recall. Add to that several timeless classic movies such as Jerry Maguire, Major League starring Charlie Sheen and Stand By Me. For even more top movie picks, read our full list of best movies to watch on Showtime right now.

Shows

Showtime’s best content is its original programming. Hit dramas like Dexter, Homeland and Ray Donovan should be at the top of the must-watch list for any Showtime subscriber, along with binge-worthy series like Billions and The Affair.

Other standout Showtime original series include Californication, starring David Duchovny and the critically-acclaimed third season of Twin Peaks. It’s also home to Queer As Folk and The L Word.

Showtime also has a range of niche exploratory shows, including several interesting sports documentaries. This includes 100%: Julian Edelman, a documentary on NFL’s Super Bowl 2019 MVP, All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup and A Season With Florida State Football.

For more recommendations, check out our list of what shows to watch on Showtime.

Our hot take

Showtime provides a great entertainment package that includes original programming, Oscar-winning movies, cult classics and more. In addition to its on-demand streaming service, it also enables viewers to watch scheduled content across its 16 live channels. The depth and quality of content available make the standalone service a great option, but for those interested in content from other channels and platforms, we recommend getting Showtime as an add-on to another subscription or simply considering a service with more content to choose from.

Rob Latham

Rob Latham is a writer focused on technology, music, entertainment and sports. He is particularly passionate about the role that technology plays in improving peoples’ lives and helping businesses to work more effectively. He’s written marketing content for global B2B technology brands and start-ups, founded his own music blog and is a regular contributor to soccer publications. His professional background is in content marketing, public relations and journalism, and he has a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.