Bell Media and CBS Corporation announced today a long-term, content licensing and trademark agreement for Showtime in Canada – the exclusive, landmark deal will bring the Showtime brand to Canada for the first time, with hundreds of hours of past, present, and future programming being made available across Bell Media platforms in English and French, including its new premium TV streaming service, CraveTV, as well as its leading pay television service, The Movie Network (TMN).
Over the course of the new agreement, CraveTV and TMN will become Canada’s exclusive home of Showtime-owned first-run programming as well as almost its entire catalog of scripted and unscripted series, documentaries, and specials.
“This new partnership with CBS Corporation illustrates Bell Media’s commitment to provide additional value to subscribers of CraveTV and The Movie Network, while significantly extending CraveTV’s advantage over its streaming competitors,” said Kevin Crull, President of Bell Media, in a press release. “Showtime has clearly become one of TV’s preeminent brands, and its slate of world-class and award-winning scripted and unscripted series, documentaries, and specials guarantee our subscribers more of the premium TV they want on the platform of their choice.”
“The Showtime premium brand is growing in stature around the world as well as in the U.S., with acclaimed, highly successful programming that will stand out anywhere,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO of the CBS Global Distribution Group. “We’re excited to expand this business in a major way with Bell Media and shine a big spotlight on Showtime in Canada.”
“This is a great moment in the history of Showtime, when for the first time our award-winning programming will be distributed and aggressively marketed as one brand beyond the United States,” said David Nevins, President of Showtime Networks Inc. “This ground-breaking new deal was driven by the depth and breadth of our critically acclaimed original series. Bell Media, with their incredible range of platforms, is uniquely positioned to present Showtime to Canadian audiences in whatever form they choose to watch us.”
CraveTV will launch a new Showtime-branded environment imminently, featuring the Showtime Collection with hundreds of hours of exclusive Showtime series and specials. At launch, the collection will exclusively feature the immediate past seasons of current hits like “The Affair,” “Ray Donovan,” and “Penny Dreadful.” Also part of CraveTV’s Showtime Collection are big-buzz Showtime originals like “Masters of Sex,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Brotherhood,” “Sleeper Cell,” “Weeds,” “The Big C,” and more. The Showtime Collection will also feature the complete star-studded and exclusive library of acclaimed Showtime music, documentary, and comedy specials, all adding up to the addition of nearly 600 assets at launch.
Later in 2015, a Showtime-branded programming block will debut on The Movie Network, providing a home for Showtime content on The Movie Network and promoting the Showtime Collection on CraveTV.
Showtime and its critically acclaimed, award-winning original series continue to make their mark on the cultural landscape. In 2014, the network was honoured with 24 Primetime Emmy® Award nominations, including the most lead actor/actress nominations of any television network (broadcast or cable). Showtime also received nine 2015 Golden Globe Award nominations, the most ever for the network, and was awarded two wins for “The Affair,” including Best TV Drama Series. Showtime has grown by 90% over the past decade to cross the 23 million-subscriber mark in the United States. The growing lineup of Showtime programming includes “The Affair,” “Ray Donovan,” “Penny Dreadful,” “House of Lies,” as well as the upcoming series”Happyish,” In addition to original series, the premium network features comedy and music specials, provocative documentaries, and hard-hitting sports programming.