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+.
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+).
Find more news on streaming and home video at TrekMovie.com.