Can Showtime and Paramount+ Change Cable For Good?

February 19, 2024
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    In entertainment news, cable network Showtime and streaming service Paramount are set to merge in the new year. This merger will allow both companies to adopt programming from each other, while also further showing how cable and streaming companies can help each other. It has become clear that cable lacks some of the redeeming qualities of streaming, such as a lack of variety when browsing what to watch. Streaming however, lacks the authenticity that comes with cable, as there is a different feel when watching a program in real time. As the two companies form into one, it would be worth it to keep an eye out for other networks and streaming platforms that may be lining things up to follow suit.

    This merger shows incentives for both Showtime and Paramount, as the combination of the two will strengthen their content libraries with the offerings of more movies, shows, and original content. Many evolving consumers are shown to prefer streaming over traditional cable, however having access to both could prove beneficial for everyone, as reported by NBC News. As of 2023, it is estimated that, “ Netflix and other streaming platforms capture 38% of all television viewing, compared with 31% for traditional cable, the data show.”

    EMarketer research shows just how reliable and on-the-rise Paramount+ is, with approximately a 1.5% increase in viewers each year. While Paramount+ is currently looking at “72.6 million viewers,” Emarketer projections show that by 2027, they could have “94.9 million”. This jump could end up being in thanks to the addition of Showtime, while also setting the trend for a successful business model between streaming and cable. 

    An interesting aspect of this merger is how close Paramount+ came to merging with AppleTV just days prior, which could have turned two reasonably popular streaming platforms into one powerhouse. A reason that this merger fell through could have been the attractiveness of acquiring Showtime’s catalog, which carries many popular programs such as, Dexter, and Ray Donovan, and Yellow Jackets. While Paramount+ will surely benefit from the addition of Showtime, the network could also thrive in a new era that does not support cable the same as it did. 

    If the merger proves to be extremely successful, other streaming platforms could jump to acquire the catalogs of other cable networks, and the competition could become fierce. While networks such as HBO have rebranded, and seem to be doing fine on their own, networks like TNT or Nickelodeon could look for a complete merge with other streaming platforms. Just when it looked like cable could be on the way out, opportunities such as this merger serve to integrate both modes of viewing entertainment. The ramifications of this merger are not yet clear, however the possibilities could prove to be groundbreaking.