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SHOWTIME Review: Everything You Need to Know About the Streaming Service

SHOWTIME offers all of its ad-free, original content in one place – Check out why you should subscribe


SHOWTIME is a simple, ad-free streaming service similar to HBO and STARZ. If you enjoy the thought-provoking and entertaining series that SHOWTIME is known for, it’s an excellent streaming service at a low cost. With SHOWTIME, you’ll get a 30-day free trial as a new subscriber, but the service also offers a free subscription option for viewers who already subscribe to SHOWTIME on cable TV. With options for viewers of either kind, SHOWTIME is a solid streaming service to pair with your current subscription. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know to decide if SHOWTIME is right for you. 

What plans does SHOWTIME offer?

PlanCost Per MonthQuantity QualityFree Trial?
90+ shows and 550+ movies3 simultaneous streams;
Offline downloads;
Ad-free streaming


Unlike more extensive streaming services such as Hulu or FuboTV, SHOWTIME only offers one subscription plan. The plan is straightforward, giving you access to all SHOWTIME programming for $10.99 per month or $99 per year. In the streaming library, you’ll find a large variety of current TV shows, movies, and previously aired content, such as “Shameless,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Ex Machina,” and “The Rental.” 

SHOWTIME stands out from the rest with its lengthy 30-day free trial and the ability to live stream broadcasts of the SHOWTIME East and SHOWTIME West networks. While the service doesn’t offer DVR storage for live streaming, once an episode airs on the network, it stays added to the streaming library for you to enjoy whenever you’re ready. This means you won’t have to worry about missing any episodes of your favorite shows –  you can catch up at any time.

For cable TV users who already subscribe to SHOWTIME, the service also offers SHOWTIME Anytime, which gives you free access to the SHOWTIME app, streaming library, and ad-free content when you log in with your cable TV credentials. SHOWTIME is also available as an add-on for other streaming services like FuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, or YouTube TV to keep your subscriptions simple. 

What add-ons does SHOWTIME offer?

While SHOWTIME doesn’t currently offer add-ons for your subscription, it does provide an option to bundle with Paramount Plus for added entertainment. With this option, you can choose to bundle SHOWTIME with either Paramount’s Essential or Premium plans. The main difference between the two is the availability of your local CBS network. The Essential plan doesn’t include access to your local live CBS station, but NFL on CBS and UEFA Champions League are still available on other live feeds. With the Premium plan, you’ll have access to your local CBS station and additional sports coverage. Here’s how the pricing breaks down:

SHOWTIME + Paramount Essential



SHOWTIME + Paramount Premium



*Plus applicable taxes. The rates above reflect the current promotion period. Regular SHOWTIME bundle rates are $11.99 per month or $119.99 per year for the Essential plan and $14.99 per month or $149.99 per year for the Premium plan. 

Does SHOWTIME offer sports content?

Showtime jake paul's next fight
Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

SHOWTIME offers a variety of sports content, particularly when it comes to non-traditional sports such as MMA and boxing. The service provides access to live boxing and MMA fights included in your subscription, plus options for pay-per-view fights. You’ll also find a variety of popular original titles and sports documentaries in the streaming library, such as “Kobe Bryant’s Muse,” “Passion Play: Russell Westbrook,” and “Disgraced.” 

However, die-hard sports fans may prefer other streaming services with a broader variety of sports content in the channel lineup. For example, Peacock’s Premium plan offers Premier League soccer, IndyCar racing, and WWE coverage. FuboTV is also an excellent option for sports fans, offering one of the most extensive sports lineups available. With FuboTV, you can watch the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, MLS, golf, tennis, boxing, MMA, college sports, and more. 

How does SHOWTIME compare to other streaming services? 

Streaming ServiceCost Per MonthUnique FeaturesNumber of ChannelsAds?Free Trial?
Three simultaneous streams;
Offline downloads;
Ad-free streaming
90+ TV shows and 550+ moviesNoYes
Hulu$6.99Two simultaneous streams;
Up to six user profiles;
Most new episodes the day after they air
2,500+ movies and TV showsAd-free upgrade available ($12.99 per month)Yes
ESPN Plus$6.99
Three simultaneous streams;
Exclusive sports content;
On-demand streaming library
Thousands of exclusive live events and ESPN Plus original shows and moviesYesNo
Disney Plus $7.99 ($79.99/year)Four simultaneous streams;
Unlimited downloads;
Exclusive Disney Originals
175+ TV shows and 750+ moviesNoNo
Sling TV
(Blue, Orange, or both)
$35 to $50 One-three simultaneous streams;
50 hours of DVR storage;
On-demand streaming library
31-47 live TV channels YesNo
FuboTV$69.99Ten simultaneous device streams;
250 hours of DVR storage;
Large live sports selection
128 live TV channelsYesYes

SHOWTIME stands out from the competition when it comes to free trial length. Compared to a seven-day free trial for STARZ and no free trial for HBO Max, SHOWTIME’s 30-day free trial offers users plenty of time to decide if the service is right for them before making a payment. You’ll also be able to live stream SHOWTIME East and SHOWTIME West, meaning you won’t need to wait 24 hours for new episodes, which is standard on other streaming services like Hulu.

Although SHOWTIME offers a wide selection of original titles, it’s difficult to say whether or not it surpasses the popularity of other original hits like Netflix’s “Lupin” and “Stranger Things” or Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” For die-hard fans of SHOWTIME’s original content, it’s a great choice to stay up-to-date with live streaming for new episodes and movies. But because SHOWTIME only offers its own original content, the selection is smaller than other streaming services like HBO Max, which also includes popular titles from other networks. 

Similar to STARZ and HBO Max, you can subscribe to SHOWTIME independently or include it as an add-on with other streaming services like Hulu, Prime Video, or Sling TV. Overall, it’s a great option to expand your channel availability and enjoy your favorite movies and shows. Still, it may not be the best standalone subscription for users who like a wider variety of content. 

What are the downsides of SHOWTIME?

The biggest downside to SHOWTIME is the relatively small content library for the monthly subscription cost. Many of SHOWTIME’s on-demand competitors like Peacock TV offer a more robust variety of entertainment for a similar price, also offering live TV streaming options for popular sports and events. 

What makes SHOWTIME stand out?

SHOWTIME offers one of the longest free trials available with comparable streaming services. You can watch SHOWTIME free for 30 days, compared to just seven days for Starz and no free trial for HBO Max. In addition to offering a selection of popular original content, subscribers can access SHOWTIME originals live as they air on the network. Users can then stream SHOWTIME live through the SHOWTIME app on any supported devices. Once a new episode has aired live on the SHOWTIME network, it stays added to the on-demand library so you won’t miss a thing. 

How to subscribe to SHOWTIME

Subscribing to SHOWTIME is simple. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Head to the SHOWTIME website and select “Try 30 Days Free.” If you’d rather bundle with Paramount Plus, select “Start Bundle Free Trial.”
  2. Enter your personal information, then choose whether you’d like to be billed monthly or annually.
  3. Enter your billing information.
  4. Start streaming!

Keep in mind that after your free trial ends, you’ll be automatically billed based on your subscription plan of choice. So if you don’t want to continue with SHOWTIME, make sure to cancel your subscription before your free trial ends.  

How to cancel my SHOWTIME subscription

  1. Sign in to the SHOWTIME website on your computer or mobile web browser to cancel your SHOWTIME subscription. 
  2. Navigate to your account page, and select “Cancel Your Subscription.” 
  3. Once you cancel your SHOWTIME subscription, you’ll continue to have access to SHOWTIME for the remainder of the billing cycle. 

Is SHOWTIME worth it? 

SHOWTIME offers a variety of new movies, popular original series, sports shows, and other programming. You’ll also have access to live streaming from SHOWTIME East and SHOWTIME West, giving you a mix of live and on-demand content to enjoy. Unlike other streaming services like Hulu or Netflix, you can catch your favorite shows as they air instead of waiting several days (or months) for new episodes or seasons to be added to the platform. And with a 30-day free trial, SHOWTIME is an excellent option for SHOWTIME fans to test out the service and enjoy their favorite movies and TV shows. Still, with a relatively small content library compared to the competition, users may prefer to add SHOWTIME to their current streaming subscription instead of using it as a standalone option.

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