CBS bringing standalone, cable-free Showtime subscription to Apple TV [u]

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Just three months after HBO Now bowed on Apple TV, CBS is said to be in the final stage of preparations to launch a similar offering for Showtime, the broadcast network's HBO competitor, on Apple's set-top streamer.

Update: The new service — called "Showtime" — has been made official, and will launch on July 12 for $10.99 per month. It's exclusive to Apple's ecosystem for the moment, and users who sign up through Apple in July will receive a 30-day free trial.

The announcement could come later Wednesday or on Thursday, according to Variety. Like HBO Now, the new Showtime service would be an Apple exclusive at launch, with other platforms gaining access later on.

There is no word on how long such an exclusivity window would last, or how much the service would cost. HBO Now, which costs $14.99 per month, has been exclusive to Apple's platforms since it launched on April 7, but it has already been announced that it will arrive on other devices in the near future.

Like HBO, Showtime is known for a combination of original programming and an extensive movie library. Among the channel's most well-known efforts are the thriller Homeland, crime dramas Dexter and Weeds, and other shows like Californication and United States of Tara.

With word of the new service breaking so close to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, it's possible that the announcement will be made during the company's June 8 keynote address. HBO Now was featured at Apple's last event, with CEO Richard Plepler joining Apple's Tim Cook on stage.