Paramount+ To Merge With Showtime And Be Rebranded

Paramount+, the exclusive home of original and legacy Star Trek television, is headed for another big change in 2023. Paramount Global is planning to combine the Paramount+ streaming service with the Showtime pay TV channel.

Paramount+ with SHOWTIME

The news of the planned combination of Paramount+ and Showtime came from an internal memo from Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish (via Variety) announcing “the next step in our company’s evolution.” The plan is for “fully integrating Showtime into Paramount+ across both streaming and linear platforms later this year—providing even more popular franchises and hit originals for viewers to enjoy.”

Both the premium tier of Paramount+ and the Showtime pay TV network will be rebranded “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” in the U.S. In 2022, Paramount+ integrated Showtime into the Paramount+ app as an add-on bundle, so this change will essentially transform that bundle into the premium tier of Paramount+.

Current integration of Showtime bundled with Paramount+

In his memo, Bakish outlined the advantages of the strategy:

This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our distribution partners. This change will also drive stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings, as international Paramount+ already includes Showtime content. And, very importantly, this integration will unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio.

Some Paramount+ content will also become available on the “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” pay TV channel, which will likely include some of the original Star Trek programming. This could give some fans access to the new Star Trek shows via their cable/satellite packages instead of subscribing to the streaming service.

So far the only changes to programming resulting from the combination appear to be on the Showtime side. Some underperforming shows have already been canceled.

This change may have little to no impact internationally. There is no indication that the new “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” branding will apply to Paramount+ outside the USA. There already is a significant amount of current Showtime programming included in Paramount+ internationally.

There is no word yet on the exact timing or pricing. In 2022, CEO Bakish announced pricing for Paramount+ will be going up. Currently, the premium tier of Paramount+ is priced at $9.99. Even bundled with Showtime ($14.99) Paramount+ is currently priced lower than the premium offerings from Netflix ($19.99), HBO Max ($15.99), and Disney+ ($19.99 bundled with Hulu & ESPN+).

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Course it will. Nothing could inspire more confidence than another rebranding!

It’s not a rebranding.

LOL, again????

Good news, it sounds like more content. Bad news, it’s probably a price hike involved. And what if you already have both like I and sure many others already do? See what happens.

Price hike involved, that’s for sure!

Undoubtedly a price hike but they may keep the price temporarily the same to lure in/retain customers. Then hike it after a year. At least that would be my marketing strategy.

If you have both it’s probably a plus. There will likely be a price hike but it wont be the same as the two separate services. Folks with both will likely be better off financialy.

they spent all that moolah on promoting the Paramount+ brand and now they’re going to change it into Showtime+ aren’t they?

It might help to read the article before posting comments like this.

Perhaps, but a rebranding as “Paramount+ with Showtime” is unwieldy and will confuse consumers.

My gut reaction is that they would be better off picking the stronger brand as the surviving brand.

Is that implying Showtime is the stronger brand? I would argue it isn’t at this point.

I don’t really know anybody who pays for Showtime anymore? I am not even sure of their lineup these days?

Nobody wanted to bundle. There wasn’t demand for two separate apps. Should have done this in the first place.

Absolutely. Same thing happened to CNN+, Discovery+ I believe.

My guess is the separate bundle was a relic of old contracts that predate Paramount+. Showtime was offered as an add-on to other services in the past, so it sounds like there were deals in place with other outlets that had to expire before they could combine.

A lot of the “why didn’t they do this instead of that” questions can be answered by pre-existing contractual obligations.


Paramount Global has faced a trade-off between breaking existing licenses and other contractual arrangements vs coherent change management.

Switching up strategies belatedly after the merger from a focus on licensing revenue from selling content toward focus on its own platforms has been costly terms of lateness to market and smaller market share.

The investors who punished ViacomCBS in January 2020 were correct. Content producers would be squeezed as would Netflix which lacks a deep library.

The jury is still out on whether ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global) moved too slowly to survive separately. It’s close competition among the smaller streamers aren’t as well positioned across the market demographics however. It will be interesting to see which one survives.

Maybe, but I also think Showtime and Paramount+ appeal to different sets of consumers. To be frank, I have no interest in getting Showtime.

I think a lot of streamers are starting to combine because of the success of the Disney Bundle as a way to make more money. But up until about the last two years, separate streamers made sense to most companies because they thought the market was much more segmented. Of course the Disney Bundle was a bargain if you already had Hulu or ESPN+ along with Disney+ because you basically got one for free. That won’t be the same case here unless they end up bringing something else on board.

My spouse laughs out loud to hear the name of yet another ‘only in America’ streamer that’s rolled into our Disney+ in Canada.

It’s hard to imagine that any of these will survive as separate entities for more than another year or so.

And the price will go up. Count on it.

Wow! That didn’t take any time at all. Going up from $4.99 to $5.99/month.

The one thing about Paramount+ that irks me is that the smart TV apps do not support 4K. The app on various external devices like Amazon Fire TV 4K version. Maybe they will finally address this problem this year.

FHD is not too bad. It’s equivalent to 2K at the cinema. And you will be surprised how many cinematic films you have only seen in 2K.

They need to fix the app first. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I go to it on my TV I have to sign in. My dad and my brother also have the same issue.

There are also times the app locks up after the first commercial before the show starts.

Fix the issues first before you start adding more.

Understand that annoyance. When I replaced my BD player to a region free one last year the new one required me to sign into Netflix EVERY time! The old one remembered by credentials. And yes, it’s a pain.

What device are you using? I have a Sony TV (Google TV) in the living room and an Amazon Fire TV Cube in the bedroom and I haven’t had to sign in again for months. I got all the way through the second half of Season 1 of Prodigy without having to sign in again. Usually happens to me only after a major software update.

If I’m understanding the article correctly , the difference in name is “..with Showtime “. added to Paramount plus. May not see a big difference in branding. I doubt they will start their original programming with ” A Paramount + with Showtime original ” that’s quite a mouthful.

Most likely, everyone is still going to just call it Paramount+.
I haven’t paid for Showtime since they dumped Stargate SG-1 20+ years ago and don’t plan to now.

these poor people. They just cannot get out of their own way.

I’ll call it now: the next rename it will get will be when it is acquired by Apple.

The big hope that might come from this is a re-evaluation of the Secret Hideout deal. Too much to ask for? Probably. But we can still hope!

Anyway, if Trek does make it over to Showtime my preference would be to just subscribe to Showtime for two or three months at a time and not stream. Streaming is a hassle.

Keep hoping and praying. Secret Hideout’s deal has been a massive success no matter how much you personally don’t like it. Paramount doesn’t exist to make you, ML31, happy.

Not sure how it has been a “massive” success. Trek isn’t even the most watched thing on P+. And the overall response has been lukewarm at best. P+ doesn’t exist to make YOU happy either. New people in charge re-evaluating deals is quite common. Sorry to rain on your poo poo parade.

No offense, but outside of maybe TNG in syndication and Voyager the first season or two on UPN, where else has Star Trek been ‘the most watched thing’? It’s a little unfair for Trek to be the biggest performer when that’s never been true in TV or movies with a few rare exceptions.

And the reality is we don’t really know how Star Trek is doing on P+ because no numbers have been released. But obviously it’s doing well enough if there has been 5 shows and all of them has been renewed several times now.

Of course all that said, yes some of the shows could get cancelled and it may not be five sows running continuously forever. But beyond nothing more than literally just mere speculation, we have no idea what will happen to any of them yet. But maybe this is why no show has been renewed again yet either, because they are reassessing things for this very change, but again only speculation, nothing more.

Look I know you and other fans are not happy with the new shows, but you’re assuming you guys make up the majority and nothing really suggest that IMO. I think most like them more than they don’t like them even if some shows are more watched or liked than others.

No offense taken. The poster did say it was a “massive success” when there is no evidence to suggest that is the case. I did indeed read reports that Yellowstone was the most watched show on P+. I wouldn’t call that show a “massive success” either.

One must also remember that “well enough to get renewed” is extremely relative. Like comparing the highest point in Florida to the highest point in Colorado. Yes, compared to the rest of Florida Britton Hill is high. But compared to other states? It’s nothing. And in this case, Star Trek isn’t even P+’s Britton Hill.

It’s been said in interviews (specifically I recall from one of the Star Trek Day broadcasts) that Discovery and Picard are two of the most watched programs on Paramount+.

That was probably true at one time. The last I read the most watched thing on P+ was Yellowstone.

Just what do you mean by re-evaluate? Re-evaluate as in, delete it all and burn the entirety of the infrastructure to the ground, or re-evaluate as in Secret Hideout has been a pretty good deal for P+, lock them into a longer term deal and generate more content reevaluation?

Re-evaluate the idea that are they getting a good deal with Secret Hideout handling all of Trek. At best they are getting mixed reviews. It’s not the most watched thing on the service. It hasn’t even cracked the top 15 most streamed original show. Even the much maligned Rings of Power was sitting at 15. Therefore it is reasonable that if new decision makers enter the room they would re-evaluate what they have going on. They may decide to give it more time or end it. But the hope is new people would at least take another look at it. Sorry to burst your bubble.

One check for burn it to the ground. Gotcha.

My personal hope would be to end the SH contract and replace with someone who can produce something better or at least less divisive. But a more realistic hope would be merely for the new bosses to make new evaluations of all the productions. Which was my point that somehow you missed.

Rings of Power also cost them over a billion dollars to make, was marketed to the hilt and is part of a series that made billions of dollars in the theaters, so tons will watch regardless. It’s not exactly a fair comparison.

And I’m curious, are there any Paramount+ original shows in the top 15 right now? It’s a real question, I really don’t know. But if the answer is no, then it’s more about P+ as a competitive service than it’s about Star Trek.

And ML31, you been predicting Discovery was going to be cancelled since its second season and it’s now in its fifth. But yes you’re not the only one whose said it and others here has made the same prediction with other shows they don’t personally like either. I just wish people could take their personal bias out of their views on how well these shows are actually performing but that seems to be hard lol.

The reality is Star Trek is probably nowhere close to performing like the bigger franchises like the MCU and Star Wars shows, but it’s probably doing well enough being on a much smaller streamer like Paramount+. And I still don’t think people even know about a lot of them unless they have P+ or already Star Trek fans. A week ago, someone asked me what was Strange New Worlds? She had never heard of it but isn’t a Trek fan either. But it does show the lack of awareness these shows have when compared to bigger more hyped shows currently running.

So I don’t think or pretend these shows are really huge hits like other franchise streaming IPs outside the fandom itself, but probably big enough for P+.

Actually Tiger2, we do have some information on streaming numbers and rankings in the US, even if it’s incomplete.

I find it a bit irritating that people keep saying ‘we don’t know’ just because it’s not the same old Nielsen linear television estimates that they are familiar with.

All the new live-action Star Trek shows crack the top ten of Parrot Analytics demand metrics for original streaming series during their runs. Sometimes, they spend a few weeks in the top five.

They don’t have the staying power of GOT or Stranger Things that sit at the top of the streaming originals ranks for months after new releases, but they place much the same as most of the new SW, Marvel or the top Apple offerings.

Nielsen’s new streaming ratings aren’t methodologically ideal – they only count streaming on televisions with set boxes (ignoring all the other ways people watch), lag a full month in reporting and are subject to the lack of representativeness that got Nielsen audited and cautioned by the advertisers’ oversight body in 2021.

Despite all that, and the completely different sources of data, Parrot and Nielsen rankings are consistently close when you line up the time periods.

It will be interesting to see what other alternative ratings, such as the new firm WBDiscovery has contracted, can do to get better measures. But as folks have said, even if that information is available to advertisers, we won’t see it as transparently as the old weekly detailed Nielsen linear numbers.

At least the Parrot and Nielsen stats are available online, I don’t have any paid subscriptions that gets me the more detailed stats and estimates. What we don’t get publicly now for streaming from either Parrot Analytics or Nielsen is the rankings below the top ten.

Parrot does give a weekly demand score for each show against the average in its category though, which allows you to see how close it is to cracking the top ten. So if we see Discovery is still 25x average, it’s doing ok even if it’s not at the 34x average it has when it’s sitting in the middle of the top ten. If I really cared I could probably scrape Parrot’s show by show scores and construct the next tier of rankings.

As long-running such streaming shows like Stranger Things park at the top of the list for months, it’s otherwise not easy to know how well shows are performing just below the top ten. In any given week Netflix still has over half of the top ten streaming originals because they have the most subscribers.

And as you say, Trek’s rarely been sustainable top ten in its history, but that doesn’t mean it’s not profitable over a long horizon. The fact that Trek basically established the viability of syndication as an alternate model for linear, tells us that it’s never been easily comparable in the way it pulls audience.

As an aside, with complementary data from a close market with Trek on both linear and streaming, we see similar results in Canada. Numeris, the Canadian ratings firm, has stopped publishing public numbers since last fall. Before that, it did, the Trek shows seemed to have enough legs to hang in the rankings in that next tier down that we don’t get streaming rankings for. Picard had more staying power than I expected.

All to say, there are metrics out there, both public and private.

Advertisers are paying for ads on the pay-tier because they know that’s where the market is now. It’s a complex environment, and the market is segmented. And television is competing for ad dollars with Facebook and other social media.

We’re not likely ever to have the simplicity of the Nielsen estimates of the 90s, but the frequent complaints here that ‘We can’t know because the streamers don’t release their numbers’ is getting exasperating.

Yes, Rings of Power was expensive and marketed extensively. And it is still sitting at #15. I haven’t seen it myself but there are reasons for that that are off topic here.

The list I saw had no P+ shows in the top 15. I was hoping to find a longer list but that search came up empty. I agree P+ is in more of a position to be a service that is worth, in some way, having to the parent company. But again, the comment that drove all this was the claim that Trek on P+ was a “massive success”. Which I would find to be hyperbole at best. Outright false at worst. If the poster said “moderate success” I likely would not have taken issue with the assessment.

You are mistaking me for someone else. I’ve always felt Star Trek Discovery was a huge pile of garbage but I’ve never predicted it’s cancelation. Others have. In fact I felt from the very beginning that show was going to get at least 3 seasons, likely more, no matter HOW it was doing. It was a bit of an unscrewable pooch.

How about piling on to the guy who claimed the show is a “massive success” rather than the person who is saying, “not really”?

They aren’t moving the content to a cable channel – at least not the first-run stuff. That would be a backwards move at this point in history. Sure, they will probably use the cable channel to promote the heck out of the streaming content (like most cable channels do), but the content that releases exclusively online will probably stay that way. The Showtime/Paramount+ channel will just be added to the standard Showtime lineup, and they won’t be making any additional money for the package. It will just be a constant advertisement to subscribe to the streaming platform. That’s where the money’s at…

I honestly didn’t think they would. It would just be my preference because I find streaming to be a big hassle. If it were on Showtime I could just buy the service & set my DVR to record it when it’s on and watch it at my leisure later with controls that actually work and not have to fumble around with casting. And end it when the show I want ends. With the month prorated rather than being forced to pay full months like the streaming services do.

Hmm…I get Showtime (and the streaming platform access) with my cable sub, but I pay for P+ (the annual/one time sub). I wonder if this could lead to me not having to pay extra for my Trek ;)

No ;-)

“The next step in our company’s evolution.”

Now we observe a minor species of streamer in the Digizoic Age, consolidating its content to compete with the larger creatures. Will it survive in this harsh wilderness? Will it be be devoured by the ravenous Disnenychus or crushed by the lumbering Amazonious or the Applesaurus? Will it have its throat ripped out like the plucky little Quibi? Poor Quibi.

Let’s watch…

Hi everyone, Just wondering. Are you having issues playing Paramount+ on a Firestick (pay version with commercial)? When it gets to one of the last commercial breaks, the video skips ahead like 5 + 10 seconds. And when I tried to reverse back, it may go back to a previous, previous break and play the commercial load again. I tried watching the new Trek episodes and an episode of DS9 and it was so hard. So far, to me, Paramount has the worst app.

I’ve had a similar experience. I don’t know why Paramount can’t get it together. It’s the only app that does this, in my experience anyway. Even the cheapo freebie streamers on Roku work better for me.

Yeah, I have no problem with other streaming services, even Tubi or Crackle. The big players, such as Netflix, HBO Max, Prime and Peacock, have no issues.

I think all the various “Stick” devices are cheap junk. Caveat emptor. Spend a little more and get a good device like an Roku 4K, Apple TV or Fire TV Cube. Far better experience.

This may relate to the radio silence surrounding ST renewals.

My thought exactly.

I suspect that there was a bit of a moratorium on announcements until this was resolved.

Sounds like the new leadership may have priorities other than ST:

Another area that will see notable changes is in programming.
In a memo of his own, [Showtime head] McCarthy touted the “complementary” audiences of Showtime and Paramount+, while adding that the company plans to lean into shows that tightly associated with Showtime’s “brand strengths and content filters,” calling out programs like Yellowjackets, Billions, Dexter and The Chi.

Yeah and if true, this could be good news IMO. A few weeks ago most of us was predicting they were just going to sell off the company entirely and after the massive debacle that is going on with WB since Discovery has bought it, the situation could’ve been bad all around and start slashing everything.

Now it sounds like they are trying to just reorganize things for this changeover. It still may not mean all the Trek shows are safe but I don’t think there will be any massive changes either; at least not right now.

This has been signalled for some time.

The head of Showtime left Paramount Global at the beginning of the year after a year’s notice that Showtime would be changing. That messaging about franchises is specific to Showtime (although we’ve heard the same previously about P+).

He spent much of last year on the Sky-Showtime rollout in Europe. It seems fairly clear that, as for Disney, there’s a long term plan to consolidate, but it’s happening outside the United States first.

What I find interesting is that they are making linear premium cable more attractive. It would be interesting to get better information on the audience demographics and potential as people retain a mix of cable and streaming add-ins.

Well that’s good to hear. And yes it’s actually a little nice to know that cable channels still matter. Everyone is so focused on streaming these days, the physical channels are starting to feel like more and more of an after thought.

The best example of that is HBO thanks to HBO Max. I’m watching the new show The Last of Us (really good btw) and I remember tuning into the second episode at about midnight wondering why it was not up yet? And then I went online to find out because it doesn’t air on HBO until 9 pm EST. I’m so use to streaming shows dropping at midnight I completely forgot that show was made specifically for the HBO channel lol. I barely watch the physical cable movie channels anymore, including Showtime. I just watch the app versions instead.

But I do think there is still a place for cable, especially for older people where streaming has passed them by like my mother. She watches things on streaming, but only when someone puts it on for her lol. But 95% of her viewing is network and cable shows.

I wonder if the Universal Translator would be up to rendering Bakish’s corpro-speak into something that’s recognizably human?

I’m wondering if this will this have any impact on Paramount Network programming in Asia?

What would this mean (if anything) for British viewers?

According to other places I read on this, probably nothing since a lot of Showtime content is already part of Paramount+ internationally. It sounds like it’s more of a domestic issue. The same thing is happening with Disney+ and Hulu in America. Disney basically wants to dissolve Hulu and just add the shows/movies into D+ but it’s easier said than done for a lot of reasons. But abroad, most of the Disney Hulu shows and movies are already part of Disney+ under the Star banner.

The reality is there is just too many of these services right now, especially in America and the companies are trying to consolidate them because they know people don’t want to just keep bundling them and trying to just put all their IPs under one roof. But yeah, easier said than done I can imagine.

Can’t wait to see what the new tiers and prices will be. I’m so glad I only subscribe when new Star Trek content arrives (most of the time).

Why put showtime on the title? I thought the + meant everything else. Paramount content with other content. Guess I was wrong.

My guess is it’s more of a branding thing. Everyone knows what Showtime is and the content they carry, so they probably think it’s a boost because they are known more for quality shows and movies and want to highlight it directly to convince people still on the fence about the service.

Adding things like MTV, Comedy Central and BET is small fry and works fine under Paramount+, but Showtime is a huge network on its own. And I’m also guessing the overwhelming majority of people out there has no idea Showtime is even owned by Paramount. I had no idea myself until a few years ago. It’s hard to keep track of who owns who these days.

Such an interesting time for the TV business! Market contractions mean consolidation. I think this is ultimately to the consumer’s benefit. I expect that larger platforms will likely begin to gobble up smaller ones and we will see entire production companies/studios merge as well.

I forgot about Showtime still be around…I’m probably not the only one?