Paramount plans to merge its Paramount+ and Showtime businesses, a consolidation of linear and streaming entertainment that will likely lead to both layoffs and show cancellations.
Both channels will be rebranded as “Paramount+ with Showtime,” according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter. The move comes just months after new Warner owner Discovery announced plans to combine HBO Max and Discovery+.
Details on the merge, including how many people will be laid off, are still being finalized. The company plans a town hall meeting with employees at the end of February to answer questions and detail the changes.
Some questions have already be answered, though, that could impact your viewing habits.
Will I be able to watch programming from both Paramount+ and Showtime with a single subscription?
Yes. Paramount is describing the new integration as “one powerful streaming service.” Showtime attracts an audience that prefers more edgy content, while Paramount+ has a broader, family-friendly audience, which the company believes will ultimately make it appealing to more people.
Will I be able to watch Paramount+ shows if I subscribe to Showtime with my cable company?
That appears to be the case. Just as Showtime content will be integrated into the streaming service, Paramount+ originals as well as Paramount films that appear on the service, will be available to Showtime linear subscribers. “This is a winning strategy that provides more value to our streaming customers and more reasons for cable subscribers to upgrade,” wrote Chris McCarthy, who will oversee the linear channel.
Will the new service be more expensive?
Almost certainly. Pricing information is expected in the next few weeks.
Will this merger result in shows being cancelled?
Yes. The company says it will “divert investment away from areas that are underperforming and that account for less than 10% of our views.” In other words, if your favorite show isn’t a notable hit, it’s likely going away.
Have any shows been cancelled already?
Three have. Let the Right One In and American Gigolo, both scripted dramas, were cancelled. And the already completed adaptation of Three Women by actress Shailene Woodley will no longer air on Showtime, but will be shopped to other channels.
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