SkyShowtime Sets Dec. 14 Launch for 7 Central and Eastern European Markets

SkyShowtime Sets Dec. 14 Launch for 7 Central and Eastern European Markets

SkyShowtime, the European streaming joint venture formed by Sky parent Comcast and Showtime owner Paramount Global, has set Dec. 14 as the launch date for its first Central and Eastern European markets.  

SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan revealed the news during an on-stage appearance at the brand’s official launch event in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Thursday evening. The SkyShowtime streaming service, which debuted in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden on Sept. 20, followed by the Netherlands and Portugal on Oct. 25, will become available in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia on Dec. 14.

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That will take its reach to 13 of its planned 22 markets, which encompass 90 million homes. It will then expand into Albania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia in February 2023. Spain and Andorra are the remaining markets where the streamer will become available during the first quarter of 2023. The streamer and its content will then be available in a total of 18 languages.

“We received regulatory approval in February of this year. Within the space of 12 months, we will have gone live in 20 of our 22 markets, which is really amazing,” Sarhan told The Hollywood Reporter. “When you’re launching something of this magnitude across 22 markets, it helps to stagger those launches to make sure that we get everything right and … that our customers have the best possible experience.”

SkyShowtime isn’t disclosing its subscriber count, but its CEO is happy with its traction so far. “What I can tell you is that we have blown past our internal projections in every single market,” Sahar said. “We are pacing well ahead of what we expected.”

Discussing the Amsterdam launch event, he said a key goal was “to tell our story and to get people familiar and excited about all of the great content that we have coming,” both in film and TV. “We have an amazing content pipeline. Between Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Peacock, Paramount Plus, Showtime, Sky Studios, we have the best content in the world coming to us. We are going to have over 30 movies a year. Once we get fully up and running, we are going to have over 30 series every year. That’s amazing. And that is it’s really providing great value for consumers at a great price.” Among other content, SkyShowtime will feature the Taylor Sheridan universe shows. “We are going to be the exclusive home for those shows in Europe,” Sarhan highlighted.

Unveiling the upcoming market launches in December, the CEO said on Thursday: “SkyShowtime was created for Europe, and we are thrilled to tell customers across Central and Eastern Europe that it’s almost time for SkyShowtime. We are excited to bring them exclusive access to the latest series and movies from our iconic and world-renowned studios as well as a premium line-up of quality local entertainment. After successful launches across North Europe and Portugal, expanding into these important markets and bringing SkyShowtime to even more people across Europe is an important milestone for us.”

Further details on programming and pricing for its Central and Eastern Europe entry will be unveiled before the mid-December launch. 

SkyShowtime features new blockbuster films, premium scripted series, kids and family content, plus “a curated selection of library titles and box sets from Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount+, Showtime, Sky Studios and Peacock,” all in one place, along with local original programming, documentaries and specials. 

Thursday’s launch event in Amsterdam, hosted by British TV presenter and DJ Alex Zane, featured stars known from the streamer’s hit content, including Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Demián Bichir of Let The Right One In, Clara Rugaard of The Rising, Halo’s Bokeem Woodbine and Yerin Ha, A Friend of the Family’s Jake Lacy and Colin Hanks, as well as The Calling’s Jeff Wilbusch and Juliana Canfield.

The event also highlighted new and exclusive programming that will be premiering on SkyShowtime in the coming year in its current markets. Among those titles are The Calling, Funny Woman, Mayor of Kingstown season 2, Rabbit Hole, Ripley, Three Women and Taylor Sheridan series Tulsa King, 1923 and Lioness. The event also featured previews of hit movies coming to SkyShowtime, including Top Gun: Maverick, Jurassic World Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Downton Abbey: A New Era and Nope.

“Brilliant stories are essential to SkyShowtime which is why I’m so proud of tonight’s announcement that so many exceptional series – starring some of Hollywood’s biggest names – will soon be available across our service,” said the CEO. “It is showtime!”

Sarhan also highlighted to THR that, “it is a phenomenal and broad lineup of content for the entire family.” Concluded the SkyShowtime boss: “We are getting globally recognized IP. Everyone knows it. There is just built-in brand recognition for all of these movie titles and series.”