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Showtime Inks Expansive License Deal With Aussie SVOD Service

27 Jan, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

CBS-owned premium channel also licensed content to Sky across Europe

Netflix says it want global rights to all content going forward. CBS-owned Showtime instead is doing its part to keep the subscription streaming landscape level by licensing content to Stan, Netflix’s Australian SVOD competitor co-owned by Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. All titles in the agreement can be watched in full HD on multiple platforms, including televisions, tablets, computers and smartphones.

The deal, which began the week of Jan. 25 with the premiere of “Billions,” will also afford Stan with an exclusive license to the Showtime brand and trademark, making Stan the official home of Showtime in Australia. In 2017, Stan will exclusively premiere the reboot of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.”

Over the course of the agreement, Showtime’s catalog of programming will become available, including critically acclaimed titles “House of Lies,” “The Affair,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Ray Donovan,” “Dexter” and “Californication.”

CBS said the deal does not affect existing rights with other platforms, with those series migrating to Stan when current agreements expire.

The deal will also include exclusive SVOD rights to CBS and The CW series such as “Madam Secretary,” “Limitless,” “Elementary,” “Scorpion,” “Under the Dome” and “Extant,” (both currently with Amazon Prime Video), “Beauty and the Beast” and “Reign.” Every episode of every “Star Trek” series will also be available on Stan.

"The growth of SVOD internationally has created a huge demand for premium content globally. Showtime’s brand and growing portfolio of programming align perfectly with this marketplace," Armando Nunez, CEO of the CBS Global Distribution Group, said in a statement.

Indeed, with Netflix recently expanding its global presence to 190 countries, some major content holders are intensifying efforts to diversify license agreements beyond the SVOD pioneer and Amazon Prime Video.

Since launching down under last year, Netflix reportedly has more than 1 million subscribers, a tally some observers question. Online researcher eMarketer.com pegs Netflix's reach in Australia at 350,000 subs, in addition to 175,000 in New Zealand.

Stan claims to have 700,000 subs since launching last year, a tally research company Roy Morgan pegged last year at 91,000, citing data from a survey of 2,088 people.

Regardless, CBS last July launched Showtime Instant in the United States to directly compete against Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu Plus and HBO Now.

Earlier this month, Showtime licensed its catalog to British pay-TV operator Sky, which includes satellite operations in Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. Netflix was only interested in select Showtime titles, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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