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The channel also carries original series, with newer episodes primarily being shown on Sunday and Monday evenings.Similar to Showtime 2, Showcase features movies, first-run feature films and original made-for-cable films originally produced for Showtime.The Showtime brand is used by a number of channels and platforms around the world, but primarily refers to the group of eight multiplex channels in the United States.Showtime is available to 29.7 million households in the U. Showtime launched on July 1, 1976 on Times-Mirror Cable systems in Escondido, Long Beach and Palos Verdes, California through the conversion of 10,000 subscribers of the previous Channel One franchise.When the deal was completed on September 6, 1983, the operations of The Movie Channel and Showtime were folded into a new holding company, Showtime/The Movie Channel, Inc., which was majority owned by Viacom (controlling 50% of the venture's common stock as well as investing million in cash), with Warner Communications (which owned 31%) and Warner-Amex (which owned the remaining 19% interest) as minority partners.As the consolidation of its operations with The Movie Channel was ongoing, in 1983, Showtime increased its national distribution on cable providers when competing premium service Spotlight ceased operations, effectively absorbing that channel's subscriber base.To address the Justice Department's concerns over the deal, the four partners submitted another revised proposal for consideration on July 19, that included guarantees of conduct agreeing that Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros.
The partners involved in the merger would also set standard prices for films that were acquired for broadcast on The Movie Channel and Showtime, either those produced by the studio partners or by unassociated film studios.On June 14, 2005, Viacom decided to separate itself into two companies (only six years after the company's acquisition of CBS), both of which would be controlled by Viacom parent National Amusements, amid stagnation of the company's stock price. A new company that assumed the Viacom name kept Paramount Pictures, the MTV Networks and BET Networks cable divisions, and Famous Music (the latter of which was sold to Sony-ATV Music Publishing in May 2007).When the split was completed on December 31, 2005, the original Viacom was restructured as CBS Corporation and acquired Showtime Networks along with CBS' broadcasting assets (including the CBS television network, UPN and the company's broadcast group, which became CBS Television Stations), Paramount Television (now the separate arms CBS Television Studios for network and cable production, and CBS Television Distribution for production of first-run syndicated programs and off-network series distribution), advertising firm Viacom Outdoor (renamed CBS Outdoor), Simon & Schuster, and Paramount Parks (which was later sold to Cedar Fair, L. Depending on the service provider, Showtime provides up to fifteen multiplex channels – eight 24-hour multiplex channels, seven of which are simulcast in both standard definition and high definition (with the exception of Showtime Family Zone, which broadcasts solely in standard definition) – as well as a subscription video-on-demand service (Showtime On Demand).Subsequently, in late December of that year, the U. Department of Justice (which had blocked a similar attempt by MCA, Gulf Western, 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures to create a competing pay service, Premiere, in an antitrust case ruling two years earlier in January 1981) launched a routine preliminary inquiry into the proposed partnership.