Showtime Rolls Out Election-Friendly Emmy Campaign, Free Subscriptions During Voting (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Showtime

The pay cabler is using the 'The Circus' in its messaging for the 2016 (TV) race.

Showtime is capitalizing on the election year and the widening reach of its premiere service this Emmy season. The pay cable net kicks off its 2016 Emmy campaign in earnest on Friday, extending free subscriptions to TV Academy members and rolling out a very political-looking campaign.

With phase one of Emmy voting getting underway on June 13, just days after the California primary, Showtime is rolling out politically themed pitches for its roster of eligible original programming — including, appropriately, presidential campaign doc series The Circus. Advertising will appear in the pages of The Hollywood Reporter and other trades, online and more than 100 L.A. area buses. (Showtime is a perennial fan of advertising on public transportation.)

“Culturally-relevant programming defines the Showtime brand,” said Showtime Networks corporate communications EVP Trisha Cardoso. “Our 2016 Emmy campaign is a nod to this current election year, inspired by our buzzy political series The Circus. 'Vote' is a call to action in support of the outstanding programming contenders on Showtime.”

For the first time, Showtime is also offering complimentary access to Showtime streaming through June 30. Access credentials will be bundled in the latest Emmy Magazine. It marks another heavy push into digital, as more and more networks and studios turn their backs on DVD screeners.

In contention for Showtime are The Circus, newcomer drama Billions, documentary Listen to Me Marlon, House of Lies, Penny Dreadful, Masters of Sex, The Affair, Ray Donovan, Shameless and Emmy mainstay Homeland. The ad for the latter includes new key art of Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin in anticipation of the 2012 best drama winner's sixth season. 

There will still be some screeners, though. Academy members will start receiving Showtime's annual For Your Consideration mailer this week. It includes select episodes of the network's original programming and select documentaries — a space in which the network has been particularly aggressive in the last year.

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