Showtime streaming service will launch in July

If you've wanted to watch Showtime series such as "Ray Donovan" and "Masters of Sex" but haven't wanted to shell out for a pay-TV service, you're in luck. Showtime says its streaming-only service will launch in July at a cost of $11 per month, or $4 per month cheaper than the rival HBO Now service.

Like HBO Now, the Internet-based Showtime service will initially be available exclusively on Apple devices, so you'll need an iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV watch the content. Showtime said the service will be available on other platforms soon. And like its premium-channel rival, Showtime will offer a free 30-day trial to new customers who sign up the first month it's offered.

In a promotion on its website, Showtime says that the service will let you stream current and older Showtime original series, as well as movies, live sports, exclusive documentaries, and comedy specials, both live and on demand.

Showtime is owned by CBS, which has been among the more aggressive networks looking for new ways to provide content to its viewers. With CBS All Access, a $6-per-month online service that debuted last fall, CBS became the first major broadcast network to offer a comprehensive Internet-based service untethered from a pay TV subscription.

More companies are now offering alternatives to traditional pay TV services, including Dish Network's Sling TV to Cablevision's Optimum cord-cutting plan.

—James K. Willcox

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