Showtime to Offer On-Demand Games

Showtime to Offer On-Demand Games

Showtime Networks plans on-demand game services.

Showtime Networks, a subsidiary of the CBS Corporation, revealed its plan to launch an on-demand game service for PC users, along with educational content creator Broadband Libraries. Scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2007, On-Broadband will offer current and retro games, reviews, cheats, tricks and other game-related content.

This new label will earn revenue through multiple streams, including fees from broadband companies carrying the service, subscriptions, game sales and advertising. Showtime says that the service will be an additional content offering for internet providers to promote their brands, allowing them to brand themselves, and not Showtime, in the service.

Peter von Schlossberg of Broadband Libraries will serve as the service's general manager. He commented on the issue of allowing internet providers customize the On-Broadband's branding identity: "We believe (the service) should be in their name and be delivered to them and passed along to consumers as they like."

Matthew Blank, Showtime Networks chairman and CEO, added, "While it might not seem like a natural, when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense for Showtime. We are used to dealing with a premium customer. We have the marketing and promotional expertise to be in those businesses."

The details released thus far make On-Broadband sound similar to Turner Broadcasting System's GameTap service, which launched in 2005 and now offers over 600 playable games.

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Showtime? It's a bit out of their usual medium, isn't it? Shame about all the ads, but there's always room for a new business model.

At the moment - and I recognize this isn't relevant, just the consequence of hearing an online game service and a TV company mentioned in close proximity - I am really wondering when we'll see something like Steam for Consoles. I could imagine a dedicated set-top box that you use to connect to the Internet and buy retailesque games. Couldn't imagine it fitting in the current market, what with all the competition, but such a thing would interest me. More exciting is the prospect that such a service could be licensed to more experienced hardware manufacturers, and all of a sudden there's no need for the online component to be a major factor in choosing a console (we're talking in the next decade, naturally), 'cause they've got the same selection.

 

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