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SHOWTIME® vs. SHOWTIME Anytime: Which Is Best for You?

Check out our expert guide to learn how to stream SHOWTIME with or without cable.

Whether you’re stalking your next serial killer show (Dexter) or needing a dark comedy (Black Monday) to keep you laughing through quarantine, the premium channel SHOWTIME is a solid streaming option.

We’ll help you find the cheapest, easiest, and best ways to stream SHOWTIME with or without cable. Come on, you know your Dark Passenger craves it.

What’s the difference between SHOWTIME (streaming service) and SHOWTIME Anytime?

The SHOWTIME streaming service is something anyone can subscribe to for $10.99 per month. SHOWTIME Anytime, on the other hand, is an app that cable, satellite, and livestreaming subscribers can use to stream SHOWTIME for free at home or on the go.

Other than that, there aren’t too many differences between the SHOWTIME streaming service and SHOWTIME Anytime. 

For example, both apps feature every SHOWTIME original series, making them the only places on the web that have the entire SHOWTIME library on demand. (Netflix has some SHOWTIME shows like Dexter and Shameless, but not every one of them.)

You can also stream SHOWTIME West and SHOWTIME East live on the SHOWTIME streaming service or the SHOWTIME Anytime app.

Likewise, SHOWTIME Anytime and the SHOWTIME streaming service share the same easy-to-use interface. 

Just remember that you need a compatible streaming device to use the SHOWTIME streaming service or SHOWTIME Anytime app on your TV set. So, be sure you have (or purchase) a Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Amazon Fire device or TV, Android TV, LG TV, or Samsung TV.

Pro tip: Not sure which streaming device is right for you? Check out our guide, Best Streaming Devices, to get our expert recommendations.

SHOWTIME without cable

In addition to the SHOWTIME streaming service, there’s plenty of options out there for SHOWTIME streaming—and all without cable.

Not familiar with live TV streaming? Most streaming services have free trials, month-to-month contracts, and lots of popular live cable channels. 

Don’t fret, we’ll break down the best services for streaming SHOWTIME so you don’t have to dig around the internet for all the details.

Best streaming services for SHOWTIME

  • SHOWTIME ($10.99/mo.; 2 live channels)—Cheapest 
  • Hulu + Live TV ($10.99/mo. add-on; 65+ live channels total)—Best value
  • Sling TV ($10.00/mo. add-on; 50+ live channels total)—Most SHOWTIME channels
  • fuboTV ($5.99/mo. add-on*; 85+ live channels total)—Best SHOWTIME deal
*For first 3 mos., $10.99/mo. thereafter.

If SHOWTIME is all you want, we highly recommend the SHOWTIME streaming service. It’s relatively cheap and comes with every SHOWTIME original series and movie.

I particularly like that the SHOWTIME streaming service comes with two live channels—SHOWTIME East and SHOWTIME West—so I can catch live premieres and channel surf a little (yes, people still do that). 

SHOWTIME’s number one rival, HBO®, doesn’t include livestreaming with its otherwise impeccable HBO Max, so two live SHOWTIME channels is a real bonus.

That said, if you want more than just SHOWTIME, we have a couple more options that might be worth exploring. 

Subscribing to SHOWTIME through Hulu Live will get you all of Hulu’s library, all of SHOWTIME’s library, and 65+ live TV channels. When you consider all the TV shows and movies you’ll get for about $65 per month, it’s a pretty good value.

Pro tip: Looking for SHOWTIME deals? You can get $5 off your first three months of your SHOWTIME subscription when you add it to your fuboTV subscription.

Is Hulu Live a little too pricey for you? Well, let us introduce you to Sling TV. 

For as little as $40 per month, you can stream 30+ live channels, including ESPN and CNN, and get nine SHOWTIME channels (including channels like SHOWTIME Women)—that’s more SHOWTIME than any other streaming provider.

Is SHOWTIME free with Amazon Prime?

No, SHOWTIME isn’t free with Amazon Prime, but you can sign up for SHOWTIME for $10.99 per month or purchase lots of SHOWTIME Originals through Amazon Prime.

Beware: this option only really makes sense if you use Prime Video as your homebase for streaming TV and movies, which most avid Netflix and Hulu fans don’t.

TBH, we’d probably just go for the easiest and cheapest way to stream SHOWTIME: the SHOWTIME streaming service. It’ll save you some cash and aid you in your search for Agent Cooper in no time flat.

SHOWTIME with cable

The thing about getting SHOWTIME with cable TV is that you usually have to sign a contract. Contract? Ew, you may say. 

Okay, okay, hear us out. A cable package with SHOWTIME can be more convenient and save you money if you bundle it with home internet.

Best cable providers for SHOWTIME

  • RCN ($7.95/mo.; 20+ live channels)—Cheapest SHOWTIME add-on 
  • AT&T TV (free for 3 mos.*; 90+ live channels total)—Best SHOWTIME deal
  • Spectrum ($69.99/mo.; 175+ live channels total)—Best TV package w/ SHOWTIME included
*$13.99/mo. thereafter

Let’s get this started with a truly tantalizing possibility. Remember how we said getting SHOWTIME through a cable provider could save you money? Well, RCN is that cable provider.

If you live in Chicago in an RCN service area, you could pay as little as $43.94 per month for 70+ TV channels, 20+ SHOWTIME channels with the add-on, and high-speed internet. That’s a real steal.

That said, cable deals on SHOWTIME are highly contingent on your location. You could also get three months free of SHOWTIME, HBO, and CINEMAX® if you live in an area where AT&T TV is available—not bad, eh? 

Just watch out for the price hike during the second year of your contract. AT&T loves doing that.

What about SHOWTIME on satellite TV?

Because DIRECTV is owned by AT&T, you can get SHOWTIME, HBO, and CINEMAX free of the first three months with select DIRECTV packages. Again, just watch out for that price hike during the second year of service.

DISH Network also offers SHOWTIME as an add-on for $10 per month, which includes seven SHOWTIME channels and three other movie channels.

In terms of TV packages that include SHOWTIME, your options get quite a bit slimmer because SHOWTIME is usually packaged as an add-on. 

We did some digging around, and, if you’re lucky enough to have Spectrum in your area, Spectrum TV Silver is a decent TV package that includes SHOWTIME at no extra cost.

If you sign up for Spectrum TV Silver, you’ll get 175+ channels, including nine SHOWTIME channels, and a subscription to HBO Max (which has HBO Originals, HBO Max Originals, and a rotating selection of movies and TV series on demand) for $69.99 per month.

Pro tip: HBO Max costs $14.99 per month, and the SHOWTIME streaming service costs $10.99 per month. 

So, with Spectrum TV Silver, you could say that you’re really just paying $44.99 per month for those extra 175+ live channels—that’s cheaper than most live TV streaming services.

Add high-speed internet to your package, and you’ll be sitting pretty for as little as $114.98 per month—saving you roughly $5.00 per month by bundling.

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Final take

We think most folks should go with the cheapest, easiest option to stream SHOWTIME: the SHOWTIME streaming service

If you have TV and internet service through RCN or Spectrum, though, you could save a lot of money by adding SHOWTIME to your bundle.

SHOWTIME vs. SHOWTIME Anytime FAQ

Do you pay for SHOWTIME Anytime?

No, the SHOWTIME Anytime app is free. But you’ll need a TV provider login to use it, which costs money (obvi).

Can you watch shows live on SHOWTIME Anytime?

Yes, you can watch live TV shows and movies on SHOWTIME West and SHOWTIME East with the SHOWTIME Anytime app.

Why is SHOWTIME Anytime not working?

Most likely, SHOWTIME Anytime isn’t working because your streaming device, internet browser, or internet connection is having problems.

While there are myriad solutions to these problems, usually the simplest solution is to restart your streaming device, internet browser, or internet connection (unplug and replug in your modem/router). 

This allows your equipment to reset and remove any bugs that might be messing with their performance.  

What’s the cheapest way to get SHOWTIME?

The cheapest way to get SHOWTIME is through the cable provider RCN, which offers SHOWTIME plus some other premium channels for $7.95 per month. 

If you don’t want cable, the cheapest way to get SHOWTIME is by subscribing to the SHOWTIME streaming service for $10.99 per month.

Is SHOWTIME on demand free on DIRECTV?

If you subscribe to SHOWTIME through DIRECTV, SHOWTIME on demand is free through the SHOWTIME Anytime app. 

What are the best movies on SHOWTIME?

Movies on SHOWTIME rotate frequently. We recommend visiting Sho.com to see the best movies on SHOWTIME that are currently playing.

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