SHOWTIME Review 2022

After 85+ hours of testing, we think the SHOWTIME streaming service is worth it—especially when you bundle it with Paramount Plus.

30-day free trial

Price: $10.99/mo.

Library: 600+ titles

Live channels: 2

Free trial: 30 days

Plans and bundles Prices Free trial Library Ads Details
SHOWTIME $10.99/mo. 30 days 600+ titles View plan
SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle (w/ ads) $11.99/mo. 30 days 1,500+ titles View plan
SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle (ad-free) $14.99/mo. 30 days 1,500+ titles View plan

September 7, 2022 update: Until October 2, 2022, new subscribers can get the Paramount+ Essential (with ads) with SHOWTIME bundle for $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year, or the Paramount+ Premium (without ads) with SHOWTIME bundle for $12.99 a month or $129.99 a year. The discounted pricing will remain in place for the duration of the new Paramount+ with SHOWTIME bundle subscription.

Is SHOWTIME good?

SHOWTIME® is a standalone streaming service that offers two live channels plus acclaimed movies and series on demand for $10.99 a month. It’s a good deal, but while the quality is there, the quantity isn’t.

SHOWTIME has about one-fifth the content of HBO Max™ (which costs only $4.00 more per month). Also, on some devices, SHOWTIME’s watchlist is a mess and the interface is clunky.

But we still recommend SHOWTIME if you enjoy indie and art films more than blockbusters, dark-horse TV series over the ones everyone watches, and live fights.

SHOWTIME pros and cons

Pros

  • Acclaimed movies and shows
  • Live boxing and MMA events

Cons

  • Smaller library than HBO Max
  • Limited kids and family content
  • Frustrating interface and watchlist

SHOWTIME deals and promotions

The SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle ($11.99 a month with ads, $14.99 without) will save you $4.00–$6.00 monthly, while offering you a ton more content.

Aside from that, new SHOWTIME customers can get a 30-day free trial on either à la carte SHOWTIME or the SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle. This is great if you’ve been wanting to try Paramount+, which has only a 7-day trial outside of the bundle.

SHOWTIME plans and pricing

Plan Price Content Streams Video Details
SHOWTIME $10.99/mo. 551 movies

92 series

2 live channels
3 1080p, 4K View plan
SHOWTIME/ Paramount+ Essential (ads) $11.99/mo. SHOWTIME: see above

Paramount+: 30,000 hrs.
3 SHOWTIME: 1080p, 4K

Paramount+: 1080p
View plan
SHOWTIME/Paramount+ Premium (ad-free) $14.99/mo. SHOWTIME: see above

Paramount+: 30,000 hrs.
3 SHOWTIME: 1080p, 4K

Paramount+: 1080p
View plan

Data as of post date.

The SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle evens the odds in the HBO vs. SHOWTIME rivalry. For only $1–$4 more per month, you get SHOWTIME’s library plus 30,000 hours of Paramount+ movies and shows, making the bundle more competitive with HBO Max.

SHOWTIME vs. SHOWTIME Anytime

What’s the difference between SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME Anytime? It’s simple:

  • SHOWTIME ($10.99/mo.) is a standalone on-demand streaming TV service.
  • SHOWTIME Anytime is a free streaming app with live SHOWTIME channels (and on-demand content) accessible to anyone who subscribes to SHOWTIME through a cable, satellite, or live TV streaming provider.

To learn more, read our SHOWTIME vs. SHOWTIME Anytime review.

SHOWTIME streaming service vs. the competition

Service Price Editorial rating Streams Resolution Details
SHOWTIME $10.99/mo. 3.93/5 3 1080p, 4K View plans
Disney+ $7.99/mo. 4.61/5 4 1080p, 4K View plans
HBO Max $9.99–$14.99/mo. 4.50/5 3 1080p, 4K View plans
Netflix $9.99–$19.99/mo. 4.33/5 1–4 1080p, 4K View plans
Peacock $4.99–$9.99/mo. 4.33/5 3 1080p, 4K View plans
Hulu $6.99–$12.99/mo. 4.22/5 2 1080p, 4K View plans
Prime Video $8.99–$14.99/mo. 4.19/5 3 1080p, 4K View plans
Paramount+ $4.99–$9.99/mo. 4.07/5 3 1080p View plans
Apple TV+ $4.99/mo. 3.93/5 6 1080p, 4K View plans

Data as of post date.

An on-demand streaming service’s value depends mainly on its content library. With the exception of Apple TV+, SHOWTIME has a smaller selection than every service in this table.

But size isn’t everything.

Shows and movies on SHOWTIME

Much of SHOWTIME’s library is exclusive or original, which by itself makes it worth your $10.99 a month.

But there are other things SHOWTIME gives you that other streaming services don’t.

SHOWTIME on-demand shows and movies

Almost every series on SHOWTIME’s streaming service is unavailable elsewhere—some people subscribe to SHOWTIME just to watch Billions and Dexter.
On the movies side, SHOWTIME has a good mix of blockbusters, classics, and indie/arthouse films—but more of the latter.

List of 31 horror movies to watch in October on SHOWTIME

Shows on SHOWTIME (partial list)

  • The Affair
  • Back to Life
  • Billions
  • Black Monday
  • Californication
  • Desus & Mero
  • Dexter (original and New Blood)
  • The First Lady
  • The Good Lord Bird
  • Happyish
  • House of Lies
  • I’m Dying Up Here
  • I Love That For You
  • Kidding
  • The L Word (original and Generation Q)
  • Moon Base 8
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
  • Queer as Folk
  • Ray Donovan
  • Shamless
  • Super Pumped
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth
  • Twenties
  • Twin Peaks: The Return
  • United States of Tara
  • VICE
  • We Need to Talk About Cosby
  • Who Is America?
  • Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men
  • Yellowjackets

Movies on SHOWTIME (partial list)

  • American Graffiti
  • Almost Famous
  • Belushi
  • Beverly Hills Cop
  • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Climax
  • The Disaster Artist
  • The Farewell
  • Fear of a Black Hat
  • The Go-Go’s
  • The Green Knight
  • Heartworn Highways
  • Hereditary
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties
  • The Jesus Rolls
  • Lamb
  • The Lighthouse
  • The Long Shadow
  • Madonna & Basquiat
  • Mission Impossible III
  • New York Ninja
  • Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic
  • Run Lola Run
  • Same Sex America
  • Some Kind of Wonderful
  • Swiss Army Man
  • Tammy and the T-Rex
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  • Tusk
  • The Watermelon Woman
  • Werewolves Within
  • Whiplash
  • XY Chelsea
  • You’re Watching Video Music Box

Live TV on SHOWTIME

SHOWTIME gives you two live channels: SHOWTIME East and SHOWTIME West (same programming, different time zones).

Most SHOWTIME TV episodes debut live and on demand simultaneously. But live boxing/MMA events, sports series, and current-events docuseries hit on demand 24–36 hours after airing live. That’s where the live feeds come in handy.

SHOWTIME sports series (partial list)

  • A Season with Navy Football
  • Action
  • The Best of All the Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson
  • Bellator MMA
  • The Kings
  • Outcry
  • The Reveal
  • ShoBox: The New Generation
  • Showtime Championship Boxing
  • Shut Up and Dribble

SHOWTIME sports documentaries (partial list)

  • 100%: Julian Edelman
  • Against the Tide
  • Bad Hombres
  • Basketball County: In the Water
  • Disgraced
  • Hoop Dreams
  • Kobe Bryant’s Muse
  • Macho: The Hector Camacho Story
  • Perfect in ‘76
  • Prison Fighters: 5 Rounds to Freedom
  • Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story

Missing shows on SHOWTIME (partial list)

Not everything you’ve seen on the SHOWTIME channel is available to stream. Some of you might miss the following programs.

When possible, we’ve listed alternate places to watch them. “VOD” means the title is available to rent or purchase on services like Prime Video, Redbox, and Roku.

  • Barbershop: The Series (Pluto, Redbox, Roku)
  • Dave’s Old Porn
  • Dead Like Me (IMDbTV, Roku, Tubi)
  • Family Business
  • Inside NASCAR
  • Inside the NFL
  • It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (VOD)
  • Masters of Horror (IMDbTV, Tubi, Roku)
  • Masters of Sex (VOD)
  • Nurse Jackie (VOD)
  • The Outer Limits 1995–2002 (Roku)
  • Red Shoe Diaries
  • Roadies (Hulu)
  • Soul Food
  • Twin Peaks (Paramount+)
  • Weeds (Hulu)

HBO vs. SHOWTIME

If you’re trying to decide between SHOWTIME and HBO Max, here’s how the services match up in a few key categories.

HBO Max SHOWTIME
Live channels 2
First-run movies
Movies 2,300 551
Series 799 92
Documentaries and docuseries 737 132
Kids and family 312 64
Live sports (boxing and MMA)
Adult content

Data as of post date.

As you can see, HBO Max has some definite edges over SHOWTIME in terms of library size, kids and family content, and first-run film debuts.

As usual, SHOWTIME’s advantages are in niche categories like live boxing/MMA and adult content. But, again, the SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle adds a ton of movies and shows.

SHOWTIME specs and features

Multiple streams

Service Included streams Upgrades Offline downloads
SHOWTIME 3 N/A

SHOWTIME allows three simultaneous streams. That’s average for a streaming service. The only services offering fewer streams are Hulu (2) and Netflix (1, bottom-tier plan). Services offering more than 3 streams include Apple TV (6), Disney+ (4), and Netflix (4, top-tier plan).

SHOWTIME also allows you to download up to 15 movies or shows for mobile viewing on these devices:

  • Android phones and tablets (OS 6.0 or later)
  • iPhone and iPad (iOS 12 or later)
  • Amazon Fire tablets (Fire OS 4 or later)

For all devices, you can choose your download quality preference in order to save data. On phones, you’re limited to standard definition (540p) or high-definition (720p), while tablets go up to full HD (1080p).

Pro tip: Got an iPhone? If so, you and a friend can watch SHOWTIME together over FaceTime with Apple’s SharePlay—if you both subscribe to SHOWTIME.

SHOWTIME supported devices

Device SHOWTIME Paramount+
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, TV
Android phones, tablets (Android 7.0+)
Android TV (LeEco TV, Sony Bravia, Hisense TV)
Apple TV (3rd gen.+)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Cox Contour Box
Facebook Portal TV
iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini iPhone, iPad
LG Smart TV (with webOS)
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro
Oculus Go Via web browser
Oculus Quest Via web browser
PC browsers
Mac browsers
PlayStation 4, 5 PS4 only
Roku, Roku TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
TiVo Stream 4K
VIZIO TV (select models)
Wii
Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Xfinity Flex, X1
Xiaomi devices Xiaomi Mi Box Select devices

SHOWTIME supports a wide variety of devices, including a surprising number of smart TVs. So does Paramount+, which we include here in case you decide to get the bundle. For more information on Paramount+, see our review.

SHOWTIME video and audio quality

We tested the SHOWTIME app on these setups:

  • A 55-inch LG 4K Smart TV (2015) through the Xbox One
  • A 42-inch Panasonic Viera TV (2009) via the Roku Ultra
  • A Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 smartphone
The SHOWTIME home screen as viewed on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 smartphone
The SHOWTIME home screen as viewed on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 smartphone.

As with most streaming services, SHOWTIME’s streaming quality varies depending on the strength of your connection—and it maxes out at full HD (1080P) and 4K (1440p).

The SHOWTIME live guide as viewed on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 smartphone
The SHOWTIME live guide as viewed on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 smartphone.

We have Google Fiber, so our connection and picture quality were steady at home. We briefly experienced lower resolutions and buffering outside the house on our 5G network—but that was expected.

SHOWTIME user interface

The SHOWTIME app interface doesn’t use carousel menus like Prime Video, Netflix, HBO Max, and virtually every other streaming TV app. Instead, it’s all branching menus with gigantic thumbnails. This is neither awful nor refreshingly new; it’s just different.

But the SHOWTIME user interface can be a little frustrating on some devices. On the Xbox One, rewinding and fast-forwarding with any precision is incredibly difficult. A 10-second jump back/forward option would go a long way here.

We didn’t have this problem on the Roku Ultra, where directional arrows allow for bidirectional 10-second jumps (short press) or faster navigation (long press). The Roku device is by far our favorite way to use SHOWTIME.

And the Samsung smartphone has a 10-second jump backwards, but not forwards. But you can drag the cursor—albeit imprecisely, on such a small screen—in both directions.

SHOWTIME also finally improved its watchlist, which had been a confusing mess of three different menus. The new SHOWTIME watchlist is more like what we’re accustomed to on services like Netflix and Prime Video: You can add all seasons and episodes of a series with one click—and find them in one place.

Aside from these complaints, the SHOWTIME app ran well in all configurations.

Final take: Is SHOWTIME worth it?

Despite its small library and frustrating watchlist, SHOWTIME ($10.99 a month) has a good blend of content that, unlike HBO Max, isn’t aimed at mainstream audiences. Instead, it has something for everyone—except kids.

But you can expand the content library dramatically by subscribing to the SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle, which adds 30,000 hours of content—including tons of family-friendly movies and shows—for only $11.99–$14.99 a month.

View SHOWTIME plans

Methodology

We’ve tested and researched the SHOWTIME streaming service for more than 85 hours, running it on two different TVs, two different streaming devices, and a smartphone. We then paired our SHOWTIME testing with data on competing streaming services to see how it compared. For more on our process, see our How We Rank page.

SHOWTIME FAQ

Is SHOWTIME worth getting?

SHOWTIME ($10.99 a month) has a tiny library of excellent original series, live boxing and MMA events, and a blend of blockbuster, classic, and independent films. But the SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle is a better deal because Paramount+ adds 30,000 hours of content for only $1.00–$4.00 more per month.

Is SHOWTIME better than HBO?

SHOWTIME ($10.99 a month) is good, but HBO Max ($14.99 a month) has five times the content. Fortunately, the SHOWTIME/Paramount+ bundle adds 30,000 hours of content from the Paramount+ library, and it’s the same price as HBO Max. Now all you need is to decide which service’s content better suits your taste.

HBO vs. SHOWTIME

HBO Max SHOWTIME
Live channels 2
First-run movies
Movies 2,300 551
Series 799 92
Documentaries and docuseries 737 132
Kids and family 312 64
Live sports (boxing and MMA)
Adult content

Data as of post date.

Is SHOWTIME free with Amazon Prime?

SHOWTIME is not free with Amazon Prime, but it is available as an add-on Prime Channel for $10.99 a month.

Don't miss an update

Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime anywhere.