Showtime Brand Coming to India for First Time in Deal With Streamer Hotstar

Suzanne Tenner/Showtime
'Twin Peaks'

The deal gives the streaming service of 21st Century Fox's Star India access to more U.S. programming as it continues to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

Showtime will make its India debut via an agreement between CBS Corp. and Indian streaming platform Hotstar, owned by 21st Century Fox’s Star India.

The content licensing and trademark agreement for Showtime will introduce to India such programming as the new Twin Peaks, comedy series Smilf and Escape at Dannemora, starring Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Arquette and Paul Dano, which will be available on the Hotstar Premium service. Also included are shows such as The Affair, Billions, Ray Donovan and I’m Dying Up Here.

CBS has inked similar agreements for Showtime content in other international markets, including with Fox Networks Group in other parts of Asia, Canal+ Group in France, Sky in the U.K., Germany and Italy, Bell Canada, Stan Australia and Movistar in Spain.

While financial terms were not disclosed, the agreement with CBS builds on Hotstar’s previous content pacts with Disney, Fox and HBO. The Indian streaming video market has been heating up since last year following the launch of global competitors, notably Netflix and Amazon.

"Over the last year, we have established Hotstar Premium as the most exciting destination for American TV shows and movies in India on demand," Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan said. Hotstar Premium is available for about $3 (199 rupees) per month.

CBS Studios International president and CEO Armando Nunez said: "We are thrilled to be partnering with Hotstar to bring critically acclaimed programming from Showtime to Indian audiences." 

Hotstar is largely driven by local content from its parent Star India, which includes close to 100,000 hours of television content and Indian movies in multiple languages, in addition to major sports content.

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