Showtime Joins Max in Getting a New Name

Cable channel will now be called Paramount+ With Showtime, which some say is a 'crazy' rebrand
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2023 8:16 AM CST
Now Showtime Gets a Rebrand
This image released by Paramount Plus shows Sophie Cookson in a scene from "Infinite."   (Peter Mountain/Paramount Plus via AP)

We just got used to calling HBO Max simply ... Max. Now, we'll have to shift gears and do the same with Showtime, though that network is actually seeing its name lengthen as part of a rebrand. The Hill reports that, starting on Jan. 8, Showtime will officially become "Paramount+ With Showtime," according to a statement from Showtime parent Paramount Global. That particular name had been used previously for a streaming service bundle that came out over the summer. The new version of Showtime will allow subscribers to now access certain Paramount+ shows, including The Mayor of Kingstown, Star Trek: Discovery, and Sexy Beast, a series based on the movie of the same name.

The Washington Post notes that Showtime, which began in 1976, four years after HBO, has become known for such programs as Weeds, The L Word, Billions, and Dexter. "The move aligns the brand with the Paramount+ With Showtime plan, a cornerstone integration for the streaming service, making this the first of its kind multiplatform brand that integrates streaming and linear content," Paramount says in a statement. As for what spurred the change to that particular name, those who study the media have some theories. "It does seem really, really curious to me that they would ultimately step away from that branded identity," Michael Kackman, a television historian at the University of Notre Dame, tells the Post.

However, "they're leaning back on their oldest name," he adds. "They're clearly still trying to build interconnections across not just streaming platforms but traditional cable, linear cable, and broadcast TV." Others offer a harsher assessment. "They're competing with Netflix, they're competing with Apple, and they're competing with Prime. And there's no room for a confused entry to maximize revenue or profits," marketing strategy professor David Aaker of UC Berkeley says, calling the move "crazy" and "just too dumb to conceive of." Check out the launch video for the new Showtime incarnation here. (More Showtime stories.)

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