Larry Magid: Roku Adds Showtime To List Of Channels, But Can Everybody Watch?

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LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— If you have a Roku streaming video player, you now have the option of watching Showtime from your device. The app is live as the popular cable network was added to to their growing list of channels, but not everyone can watch.

I own a Roku and I subscribe to Showtime, but it’s not going so well because I subscribe to Comcast. They happen to be one of the providers that doesn’t allow the service. You may have a Roku, iPad, or a laptop, but with HBO and Showtime, you still need to go through the cable or satellite companies in order for the service to work.

You can still use the service with AT&T U-verse, Direct TV, and Verizon, but Comcast and Dish Network don’t agree. The irony is I can still watch Showtime on my PC because of the account I have. To me, these companies seem to have bizarre decision-making processes. But if you look at it from the network’s perspective, they don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them. The vast majority of their income comes from the cable companies so they don’t want to alienate them just yet.

The cable and satellite companies continue to be the gatekeepers and that’s the problem. I think that’s eventually going to change, but there’s going to have to be a different business model and that’s going to take a while. Roku could be seen as a major potential threat to cable and satellite, but for now the majority of people aren’t streaming as opposed to watching cable, yet.

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