If you're a fan of Homeland, but not your cable company, Showtime has your solution. You can now view all of their premium cable TV content, without any cable or satellite subscription.
Showtime's service comes on the heels of HBO Now, a similar standalone service launched by Showtime's primary competitor in April. While HBO's service is available for $14.99 per month, Showtime (whose service does not have a cool name) will only be $10.99. If you'd like to test it out before committing, a 30 day free trial is available.
The service is launching on Apple devices as well as Roku and Sony's Playstation Vue. In an interesting twist, the service is also available to Hulu subscribers, and at a discount, $8.99 per month. Showtime "for cord-cutters" will allow you to watch programming on demand, or to watch Showtime's East or West Coast streams live as they air.
HBO fired the first shot for a la carte television when it began offering its programming without a cable subscription. With Showtime now following suit the path is now open for any channel that wants to offer its content to the consumer without a contract. While HBO is generally viewed as having the stronger lineup, based on Game of Thrones alone, it will be interesting to see if Showtime's lower price attracts more consumers. A little competition might make things cheaper for the viewer down the road.
While less expensive than HBO, $10.99 a month is still a reasonable amount of money for a single channel. While cutting the cord frees consumers from contracts it's not necessarily a cheaper option. When you add together the price of Showtime, HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV and other services the price can add up to as much as a cable subscription if you want all the content that's available. Still, options are good and fans of Penny Dreadful now have one more.