In news that surprised basically nobody, Showtime recently announced that it would be following HBO in releasing a standalone online service on July 12 for fans of its original content. But if it seems like the vast majority of articles written about the home of shows like Dexter, Shameless, and the upcoming Twin Peaks revival include the words “following HBO” somewhere within them, here’s a new twist that might briefly break Showtime out of its competitor’s shadow: It was announced today that the network is partnering with online content streamer Hulu to make its original programming available for an additional monthly fee through the service’s paid subscription program (previously known as Hulu Plus).
Subscribers to Hulu UnPlus (who already pay $7.99 a month to view a variety of TV shows, as well as some of the internet’s most exciting advertisements) will soon be able to pay an extra $8.99 to stream Showtime’s content, including Masters Of Sex, Homeland, and Ray Donovan. (That price is in contrast to the $10.99 the standalone Showtime service will cost, the $14.99 charged by HBO Now, and the untold fortunes you’d be charged to actually get any of these things through your cable package.) In other words, it sounds like this is a total deal, saving users about $24 a year, provided they’re already committed to Hulu sulP (the Plus that dare not speak its name), especially since Showtime’s content will be served up to users free of the service’s normally ubiquitous ads.