Showtime, originally established as a premium cable television channel in the United States, has expanded worldwide through ownership interests and brand licensing agreements to operate international versions of the service.
Showtime Australia was a group of movie channels in Australia that launched in 1995. The service shows a limited number of television series, as well as occasional mini-series. The service's owner, Premium Movie Partnership is owned equally by Sony, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, News Corporation and Liberty Media, with Showtime U.S. owner CBS Corporation only holding a small stake in the service.
Showtime Australia’s channels include:
- Showtime Premiere - features recent mainstream movies, and mini-series
- Showtime Premiere 2 - a timeshift feed of the primary Showtime Premiere channel operating on a two-hour delay
- Showcase - recent movies mixed with many cable television shows from the U.S. (such as The Tudors, Dexter and United States of Tara)
- Showcase 2 - a timeshift feed of the primary Showcase channel on two-hour delay
- Showtime Action - a channel dedicated exclusively to action movies
- Showtime Comedy - a channel dedicated exclusively to comedy movies
- Showtime Drama - a channel dedicated exclusively to drama movies
Showtime Premiere, Showcase and Showtime Action each offer high definition simulcast feeds. Although Showtime Australia licenses its name from Showtime Networks, the Australian service no longer maintains brand licensing agreements to use Showtime U.S.'s logo; Showtime Australia used the text logo previously used by the U.S. service from 1982 to 1997 in its branding until 2009 (long after it was discontinued by the U.S. service), when the service adopted its own logo separate from the U.S. service. This group of channels is available on both Foxtel and Austar.
On January 29, 2015, Bell Media announced a licensing deal with Showtime Networks, in which it would acquire Canadian rights to most of Showtime's library of original programming, and the Showtime brand. It will feature the network's content in a Showtime-branded block on The Movie Network, and on its subscription video-on-demand service CraveTV. Certain Showtime programs are not licensed under the deal and will remain on competing outlets, though Bell already owns the Canadian rights to Nurse Jackie and Weeds through a separate deal with Lionsgate.
Middle East, North Africa and the Levant territories
Orbit Showtime Network is the dominant subscription television service in the Middle East and North Africa. It is a joint venture between KIPCO and Mawarid Holding (ownership of 60.5% and 39.5% respectively); the company was founded through a merger between Orbit Communications Company and Showtime Arabia. The company is headquartered at Dubai Media City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Showtime also had an early investment in Brazil with Grupo Abril, at the time it launched its cable operator, TVA. However, several years later, Showtime was replaced with a local version of its U.S. competitor, HBO.
A Showtime channel is available in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. The channel, which is a commercial-free service, is operated by NonStop Television, which licenses the name and logo from Showtime Networks and brands the channel with the Showtime logo, but does not otherwise show any programming from Showtime U.S. Programming mostly consists of action movies from the 1970s to the present day. The channel does not premiere recent Hollywood films. Availability differs; it is available for an additional cost in some basic cable packages, such as Canal Digital, although for a much lower price than first-run subscription film channels.
In Spain, the channel is branded as Showtime Extreme; it provides three different audio feeds: Spanish, English and Catalan. It is operated by Factoría de Canales, which also licences the name and logo from Showtime Networks.
- "Bell Media strikes deal with Showtime to take on Netflix". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Showtime Arabia Channel Line-up with channel number!