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== Branding Strategy  ==
 
== Branding Strategy  ==
  
''Dexter ''is the epitome of an edgy show, as the main character that the audience is meant to sympathize with, is actually a serial killer. Showtime advertises Dexter as a clean cut and normal looking guy, with a killer instinct. He is normal on the outside, but an absolute psycho on the inside. By creating such a dysfunctional character, Showtime is able to pique the viewers' interest, and maintain that viewership through the highly serialized nature of the program. This fits in with Showtime's other shows such as ''Californication ''and ''Weeds''. 
+
''Dexter ''is an extraordinarily edgy show as the character we are meant to sympathize with is a verified killer. Showtime advertises Dexter as a clean cut and normal looking guy, with a killer instinct. He is normal on the outside, but an absolute psycho on the inside. By creating such a dysfunctional character, Showtime is able to pique the viewers' interest, and maintain that viewership through the highly serialized nature of the program. This fits in with Showtime's other shows such as ''Californication ''and ''
  
 
== Scheduling<br>  ==
 
== Scheduling<br>  ==

Revision as of 10:00, 3 December 2010

 Showtime

Ownership and Conglomeration

Showtime is a subscription-based cable television network that is owned and operated by Showtime Networks, Inc (SNI). SNI was created in 1976, when Viacom, Inc. decided to create its own television network in the model of Home Box Office to compete in this premium channel market. Premium channels require viewers to pay an extra monthly fee in order to add the channel to their selections. One consequence of this system is that these networks can rely on subscription fees, and do not need to use traditional commercial breaks. Viacom was once a part of the CBS Corporation, but spun off in 1971 as a syndication company due to anti-trust concerns. Showtime began airing on a few cable systems in California in 1976, and was launched nationally in 1978. In 1983 in a joint venture between Viacom International, Warner Communications, and the American Express Company, SNI merged with The Movie Channel (TMC) to form Showtime/ The Movie Channel, Inc. The three companies owned 50 percent, 40.5 percent, and 9.5 percent respectively. SNI also purchased a small cable service called Spotlight for about $40 million dollars.There were talks between Viacom and a cable system operator called TCI, to sell half the firm for $225 million, but these negotiations ended when TCI began developing a now rival services, Starz.[1]

In 1990, the current CEO of Showtime, Matthew Blank was brought in to the company as president and chief operating officer of SNI. Tony Cox remained the CEO and chairman, though he left in 1995 during a restructuring of Showtime in which it became a subunit of Blockbuster Entertainment, a corporation Viacom had purchased recently.  In 1996, SNI and Robert Redford launched the Sundance Channel, featuring independent and foreign films. This channel has since been bought out by ComCast. Showtime invested a few million dollars in the digital television recorder company TiVo Inc. and launched some digital channels, including a high-definition channel in the late 1990s. Showtime was one of the first companies to use HD television. By 1999, Showtime had improved significantly in its subscription totals, reaching 65% more subscribers as compared to 5 years earlier.[2]

Viacom merged with its old parent company CBS Corp. in 2000, acquiring all of its cable channels and production units under its own umbrella. Due to internal rivalries and low profits, the company decided to spit in two in 2005. The old Viacom was renamed CBS Corp. and took ownership of Showtime along with CBS and UPN Broadcast networks, among other companies.[3]Currently, Showtime is doing well, having increased by 6 million subscribers in the past 6 years up to a total of 18.2 million. [4]


Partnerships with Other Companies

Film Rights

In 1983, SNI signed a 5 year $500 million deal that gave it exclusive rights to air movies produced by Paramount Pictures. SNI would later partner with MGM, in 1993, in an exclusive seven-year deal to broadcast up to 150 of its films. SNI also partnered with New Line, TriStar, Orion, and Castle Rock at this time.[5]

Paramount's contract with Showtime ended in 2007, and in 2009 it was announced that three of Showtime's major film suppliers would be joining together to create new premium cable channel called Epix. These companies included Paramount Pictures, MGM, and Lions Gate Entertainment. Showtime has reponded by currently relying more on original programming and making deals with somewhat smaller film production companies such as with DreamWorks, Summit Entertainment, the Weinstein Co., Miramax, and CBS Films unit.[6]

Time, Inc.

In 1989, Viacom sued Time Inc. the owner of HBO, alleging that Showtime had been kept out of the cable lineup due to antitrust violations of the cable companies. A settlement was reached in 1992, that resulted in increased placement of SNI's offerings on Time's cable systems. In addition, SNI and HBO would work together on joint marketing campaigns. The first ad campaign with HBO launched in 1993. The companies spent unprecedented amounts of money on an effort to promote cable broadcasting using television, radio, and print ads.[7]

Roles in Production/ Distribution/ Transmission

In 1992, Showtime created a new unit called the Showtime Entertainment Group which was in charge of producing approximately 20 original movies per year that the network could air on its channels. This company would also produce some of Showtime's original series. Some of these films were subsequently released to US theaters in order to gain in popularity after they had aired on the channel. After the company was bought under Blockbuster, more profits were made on these films through video sales.[8]Showtime generally does not send many of its show to other channels through syndication due to their often graphic, sexual, or violent nature. However, when this does happen such as in the cases of The L Word on Logo or Dexter on CBS, the shows are often censored extensively.[9]

Scheduling and Promotional Techniques

Showtime creates its schedule based on the projected audiences. For example, Showtime tends to run its new scripted programming during primetime, when most people are home from work. Friday nights are generally filled with reruns and late night movies. Sunday nights showcase the channel's lineup of new episodes of top programs. [10] Reruns of the previous episode are frequently placed in the schedule immediately before the new episode airs, allowing audience members to recall the details of the current plot. Multiple consecutive airings of the same show also allows the channel to hook potential viewers who may be fans of other Showtime series.

Showtime also works with other companies to promote their channel. For example, Showtime and iTunes are working together and offering a $25 iTunes gift card when a customer subscribes to Showtime.

            www.sho.com/site/promotions/giftcard25/home.do

There is also a Showtime app for iPhones and iTouches which allows users to stay updated with Showtimes news and shows. These interactive and multimedia approaches work well with the young consumers who are an important part of Showtime's targeted demographic.   

            itunes.apple.com/us/app/showtime/id316082177

Advertising Techniques 

Showtime does not show advertisements on its network, but focuses on drawing critical acclaim and popular buzz to keep its original programming afloat. It has a variety of promotional strategies for the shows,mentioned above, such as marketing on the Kindle and iPad, as well as provocative billboards.[11]

In 2006, Showtime launched Showtime Interactive, which is a website that allowed subscribers to watch hundreds of hours of programming and extra footage for $1.99 per show. Showtime also now offers its shows on the iTunes store. CEO Matthew Blank has stated that offering shows online is a way to advertise for the shows as well as to entice people to subscribe to the channel. Showtime had over a million streams of the premiere episode of The Tudors to promote it. Blank reports that "those dollars [from iTunes] are not material enough that they are going to change our business. But what does change our business is that it continues to build a brand. And it gives people access to our service that aren't in our family right now."[12] 

Branding Strategies

Showtime has had several slogans since its start. Currently its slogan is "TV. At Its Best." This slogan is part of Showtime's brand and identity along with its abbreviation, the capital SHO. Showtime is known for the content of its original programming, and its slogan suggests that it will give the viewer consistent quality television, whereas other channels will not. AdFreak says that "Showtime knows what you really want: porn, weed, and violent psychos." [13] The risky and envelope-pushing creative choices the channel makes again reinforce the idea that Showtime does not settle for boring or artistically conventional shows. The viewer is therefore guaranteed a unique and fulfilling viewing experience that is different from what one could find on other channels, such as HBO. 

Signature Programming and Genre Trends

          Showtime produces edgy original programming with the hopes of drawing critical acclaim and media hype.  Showtime's major competitor in this business model is HBO, another cable channel.  In years past HBO has dominated the attention of fans and critics alike, but with the series finale of The Sopranos in 2007 Showtime took the opportunity to raise its reputation with the increasingly acclaimed Weeds.[14] Since then, Showtime has produced many critically acclaimed shows and has a reputation for being a strong creative force in television.  Ira Glass, host and executive producer of Showtime's documentary This American Life, says that executives at Showtime were "explicit in saying where they are in their business plan is that they were trying to change the way people perceive them...and the most important thing is that people know this is happening." [15] Since Showtime airs ad-free, it does not have to aim for certain demographics in order to please advertisers.  It does, however, air original programming with similar aspects in order to brand the channel.  Many of the shows revolve around complicated women surrounded with controversial issues.  These hot-button topics and high-profile actresses draw in audiences and then reveal the smart subtleties of the programming.  Kevin Nealon, an actor on Weeds, explains fans fascination with the plot conflicts in Showtime programs: "People like to watch train wrecks...[Weeds] deals with real people and real situations, as dysfunctional as they are." [16] Shows that follow in this tradition are Dexter, The Big C, and The United States of Tara, all of which contribute to Showtime's identity as a channel.

Related Channels[17]

Showtime offers a variety of channels with different programming to target specific audiences. For example, Showtime Extreme airs boxing, martial arts, action movies, thrillers, and gangster films, serve to target an action-oriented viewer, whereas Showomen features pieces that celebrate women to appeal to the female viewer. Showtime has a number of related movie channels, the content of which takes up a good percentage of air time. The movies aired on Showtime, in conjunction with its original programming, also lend the channel a higher degree of credibility, as films and high quality shows are often seen as literary texts with immense cultural and intellectual relevance. The many different types of related channels that are available speak to the fact that now, more than ever, viewers expect the ability to choose programming that interests them and watch television on demand. 

Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Background

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! is a reality television show that aims to debunk public myths and misconceptions with a mixture of research, interviews, magic, and comedy. It is Showtime's longest running serial, on the air since 2003 and currently airing its eighth season. [18] Penn Jillette and Teller have been working together for over thirty years, and recently celebrated their Las Vegas magic show's tenth anniversary and its renewal to run through 2013. [19] The duo have also produced several documentaries, written books, and are favorites as talk show guests. 

The typical format the show follows includes interviews with those who have made a business out of the topic at hand, such as astronomy or alternative medical practices. Interviews with scientists and experts who decry these practices are then shown, with voiceover narration by Penn. Penn and Teller both perform magic tricks, skits, and experiments to entertain and emphasize their point. Teller does not talk during the program, providing a funny complementary character for Penn, whose commentary is unrestrained and often vulgar. The show ends with a plea to audience members to be aware of what they believe and consume. [20] 

For example, the ninth episode of the seventh season, which aired in 2009, focused on stress and the lucrative market that has developed to relieve it. The show follows three stressed people who go to an aromatherapist, an alternative medicine doctor, and a spa. In between documentary-styled takes, Penn and Teller put on skits and magic tricks. They usually stand or sit in front of a green screen, and the style is very minimalist and kitschy, which exaggerates the comedy and the honesty of the show. At the end of the show, Penn and Teller have debunked the myths of stress relief, and warned people against paying top dollar for ineffective treatments. Penn then instructs the camera crew to leave, the lighting to be dimmed, and the teleprompter to be turned off, in order to reduce his workplace stress. This serves to underline the humor in believing that all stress is negative, while revealing all the behind-the-scenes contrivances to make the viewer feel included and trusting of the show. 

Target Audience

This program aims to reach a young, liberal, savvy audience with a sense of humor and an appreciation for performance. The show is often controversial, "debunking" topics like religion, college, and organic food with the use of profanity and sometimes nudity.  Showtime brags that "no matter how popular a form of bullshit is — and regardless of what deep pockets or beloved figures support it — Penn & Teller are pit bulls for the truth, poised to tear down these myths in the most jaw-dropping fashion possible with their trademark wit and off-center comic sensibilities."[21] As a result, there is a lot of debate over the appropriateness of the show, which functions to entice curious viewers, as well as keep the show in the public eye. Both Penn and Teller espouse a libertarian viewpoint, and so naturally viewers with similar political backgrounds will feel a kinship with the magician/comedians' conclusions. However, the show's target audience includes all people who think critically and are not easily offended. Showtime has branded Penn and Teller as "the bad boys of magic." [22] This reputation attracts a young, liberal, intellectual audience that is economically valuable and appreciates the feeling of being above the tricks and deceptions of today.

Branding

Showtime's website advertises Penn & Teller: Bullshit! as a show in which "veteran producer Mark Wolper, Executive Producer Star Price and renowned master showmen Penn & Teller deliver a high-octane, weird, wacky, entertaining journey through some bizarre territory that no one else is brave enough to touch." [23] This pride and promotion of the show as being one with subject matter that no other channel or show is "brave enough to touch," enhances Showtime's reputation as a groundbreaking channel that speaks to a savvy and progressive audience. This aggressive, sometimes gratuitously profane approach paradoxically builds trust between the viewers and the performers, and consequently between the viewers and Showtime. 

Cultural Meanings

The show's title is a way of signaling to potential viewers the tone of the show, and piquing curiosity in its content. However, the profanity in the program's name also makes advertising difficult. Cable providers list the show in several ways, including Penn & Teller: Bulls...!, Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t! and Penn & Teller: BS!. Penn and Teller originally had no interest in using profanity, and wanted to title the show Humbug, to relate their critical thinking skills and skepticism of accepted traditional thinking. However, show producers believed thatBullshit! would have more shock value and unique appeal. Penn has expressed frustration with the title, and in his radio show he sometimes refers to the television series as Bushlit[24] 

Penn, however, also introduced another reason for the show's title and frequent use of profanity: legalities. He said, "'It's also a legal matter. If one calls people 'liars' and 'quacks' one can be sued and lose a lot of one's money. But 'motherfuckers' and 'assholes' is pretty safe."[25] Presenting the show as opinion, with numerous funny interludes paradoxically helps to tackle controversial topics in sensitive ways. With its over-the-top style, Penn & Teller allow people room to disagree with them and use comedy as a tool to reveal the truth to the public.  In an overly sensitive and politically correct society, Penn and Teller break through television conventions of what is appropriate by espousing their own opinions along with a mixture of comedy and magic tricks. The show represents the public's desire to be given the truth and be treated as knowledgable consumers. The show's approach to this desire pushes the envelope in a classic Showtime manner. 

Penn and Teller often reveal the mechanisms of their magic tricks, an unusual thing for magicians to do. They do this to acknowledge the intelligence of the audience and encourage critical thinking among their viewers. This is a way of sharing in the magic and addressing the audience honestly, allowing their tricks to entertain without deceiving. 

The show's portrayal of women in the episode "Stress," is offensive unless viewed as strictly satirical. A woman is shown nude next to Penn, in order to allow him a quip. This is an example of how the show makes fun of cheaply manufactured entertainment that proves highly lucrative for the perpetrators. However, the show runs the risk of being misunderstood by viewers, and promoting a misogynist point of view. These satirical strategies inflame some viewers. In 2006, a complaint was filed that the full name of the show, usually censored to appear as BullSh*t, appeared alongside the Viacom logo in an advertisement. [26] These kinds of problems have been common in the history of the show, but function to promote Showtime as an edgy, risk-taking channel.

Scheduling

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! airs on Sundays at 11: 30, after Californication and before Look, a new series that Penn recently promoted in his "Penn Point" podcast.[27] However, Teller said in an interview recently that "we are in the process of making a decision to continue with Showtime or move on to a new show on Discovery." [28] 

Dexter

Background

Dexter is a Showtime original series about a man who works as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. He is also a psycho serial murderer who only kills criminals. It is currently in its fifth season. The show is critically acclaimed and has been nominated for a number of awards. Michael Hall, the actor who portrays Dexter, has won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Drama. The average episode of Dexter is composed of Dexter juggling his police work (catching the major villain of the season), his family life (his marriage, kids, and sister), and his urges to kill (generally a new villain that Dexter takes care of, so to speak, every episode). 

Target Audience

Dexter is a unique program that takes elements of a number of different genres such as crime drama, action, and even comedy and mashes them together. It appeals to a wide target audience including young people through middle aged adults. It has enough action and suspense to satisfy the most hardened watcher of crime dramas, yet enough romance and intrigue to keep melodrama enthusiasts interested. It is an edgy and risk-taking show which attracts new-age, 'hip' watchers as well. Showtime's ex-President of Entertainment, Robert Greenblatt has stated, “I thought at best we would attract a devoted cult audience but soon realized that, ironically, this show is so thematically rich and layered with humanity that audiences of all kinds have flocked to it."[29]

Cultural Meanings

Dexter takes place in Miami. Consequently, there is a good deal of Latino influence on the show. Many characters, from co-workers at the police station to the criminals are Latinos. Since these characters are given a range of motivations and "good" and "bad" labels, the race as a whole is not portrayed in a negative light. Their representation gives viewers a glimpse of Miami culture of which they may have little knowledge.

Dexter's sister Deborah is the quintessential strong female character. She is a hard-working cop on the show. She is physically and mentally strong and uses a good deal of profanity. Deborah also tends to have trouble with relationships due to her personality and catches a lot of teasing at the station by her male co-workers due to it. She is very professional at the police station, often subverting her feminine characteristics in order to fit in. 

The justice system in Dexter is often portrayed as flawed. Though none of the police or detectives would be seen as incompetent per se, criminals are not always apprehended due to the politics and rules of the justice system. These escaped criminals are often Dexter's victims in the very same episode. This idea of vigilante justice is a large theme on the show and is why it is sometimes seen as controversial. Similarly, viewers' associations with their own Dark Passenger's, the hidden urge within that forces Dexter to kill, may lead to an acceptance of extreme violence.

A final theme is the portrayal of family in Dexter. Dexter has to balance his second life with what his desires for a true family. He has constantly occurring hallucinations of advice from his overbearing father, a needy wife, two step children, his own child, and his sister. Dexter's priorities shift back and forth from his secret life to his family. It poses some serious questions. What is or should be most influential, a career, a family, or one's own mind?

Branding Strategy

Dexter is an extraordinarily edgy show as the character we are meant to sympathize with is a verified killer. Showtime advertises Dexter as a clean cut and normal looking guy, with a killer instinct. He is normal on the outside, but an absolute psycho on the inside. By creating such a dysfunctional character, Showtime is able to pique the viewers' interest, and maintain that viewership through the highly serialized nature of the program. This fits in with Showtime's other shows such as Californication and

Scheduling

Dexter is scheduled on Sunday nights at 9pm and 10pm. The episode from the week before is shown at 9pm so that if the viewer missed it, they can catch up before the current episode is shown at 10 pm. Dexter is followed by another one of Showtime's hits, Weeds.  There is not a ton of competition between Dexter and other shows due to its time slot.   

Production History

Dexter is an independently created and produced by Showtime. It is a Showtime 'original.' New episodes are only shown on Showtime but its previous seasons were syndicated to CBS in 2008 for rerun purposes. [30]Due to complaints from groups such as the Parents Television Council about the glorification of violence on network televisions, only one season of the show was broadcast on CBS. [31]

Audience and Online Analysis

Fan Interaction

Showtime Channel has attempted over the years to cultivate a large online presence in order to draw in additional subscribers. While it is difficult to find full-length episodes available for free online, Showtime has made a concerted effort to promote its shows through a variety of venues. The fans have joined in in this effort, launching their own websites and contributing to the paratexts associated with the original programming on the channel. 

Fan Forums and Websites

Showtime has been very proactive in creating spaces for their audience to interact with their original programming outside of the confines of the television set. They have used, besides the Official Website, other social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter pages for each of their shows. Showtime realizes that by entering these pre-established websites and adding their own content, they can better engage with their target audience, most of whom will be using wildly popular websites already. In some cases Showtime has launched "fake" websites in order to extend the paratext of their shows into the online medium. For example, in The United States of Tara, the character of Kate becomes, on the show, an internet phenomenon by dressing up as the post-feminist superheroine, Princess Valhalla Hawkwind. Showtime subsequently launched www.princessvalhallahawkwind.com as a link off of the official Showtime website. Fans of the original programming have also taken advantage of unofficial websites, such as with Television Without Pity's recaps and forums.

Showtime's Wiki Forum[32]

Showtime runs a wiki page for each of its shows allowing fans to put information on the web for others to see as well as threads for discussion. Everyone of these wikis is heavily populated with posters and has a fairly active community. The Showtime forums for Dexter are by far the biggest in terms of posters of the many forums on the internet. There are new threads daily, if not hourly. Posters post fan art, vids, predictions, and questions about the episodes and story of Dexter. Every post has an option at the bottom of it for others to rate the post as valuable or not. This allows moderators to deal with posters who are only causing trouble. The reactions to the most recent episodes are usually not positive or negative criticisms but speculation on what will happen in future episodes. The suspense at the end of each episode of Dexter really contributes to this. People spend the entire week wondering how Dexter will solve his latest problem which is translated to these threads on Showtime's website. For example, the most recent thread on the website is called "Thoughts on TAKE IT." TAKE IT is the title of the most recent episode, and the majority of the responses are positive reactions to the episode followed by predictions about the next. Any negative comments are not about the script but about the actions of characters. One poster notes in the thread about the latest episode, "I am disappointed by Maria, Throwing Deb under the bus to protect herself, and her "Sterling image", I'm not giving up completely, she may still come around and be not 100% self absorbed. " This poster is not angry at the writers for creating this character, but disappointed in her actions, with the hope that she will turn things around.

Fan Created Forums[33]

Dexteraddict.com is another forum, not run by Showtime. This is a fan created website for the general discussion of Dexter. There are a variety of categories for the discussion of Dexter ranging from general discussion, to reviews of the latest episodes, to actor and character discussion. Fans can create topics within the categories leading to long conversations about Dexter. For example, in the Actor and Character Discussion category, one of the most posted on topic is titled "Growing hatred for poor Rita in season 4." The creator of this post felt that the character Rita was getting a bit too "naggy" and "annoying" in season 4. The responses to this post were varied as some people agreed whole heartedly while others wanted to give Rita a chance. Some believe that Rita is an important character that adds balance to Dexter's life while others believe that she is worthless to the show, simply a "one-dimensional nagging cow." Many posters also wrote predictions for the further development of the character of Rita and her relationship with Dexter, "I reckon Rita's character will ramp up with something soon." The members of this community seem friendly with one another, stick with the discussion, and avoid personal attacks. The posts are about Dexter, as compared to other forums where threads can devolve into name calling and arguments.

Fan-created Material

Showtime shows in general seem to spur a wide array of fan-produced content. With Dexter in particular, on many of these official and unofficial websites, there are links to fan generated material. The official Dexter facebook page, for instance, links to picture albums that the website has compiled from photographs that fans have sent in.[34] The album showing Dexter episode viewing parties, called "Dextravaganzas", evidences how fans interact interpersonally with their friends in watching the show, as well as with the larger online community. The comments and discussion attached to each picture indicate the excitement of such an active participation in the show. 

As in many other Showtime shows, there is a large Dexter community dedicated to writing fan fiction and creating fan-made videos. The fan-fiction associated with Dexter is typical of many shows. Another past original program, The L Word, utilized fan-created fiction in a uniquely interesting fashion. In 2005, Showtime announced a multi-week contest allowing fans to write short scenes based on a prompt by a writer of The L Word.[35] Fans then voted on their favorite scenes which were then compiled into a shooting script and produced using many of The L Word's actors and writers in the process. This was the first ever "fanisode," now featured on Showtime's website.[36] Other fan-made videos for Dexter, available mainly through videosharing platforms like Youtube, are often in the "slash" or "shipping" genre. The videos reinforce the fans' fascination with the lead character, as many videos attempt to portray his various personalities, as set to modern pop songs.

Online Store

Showtime has a large collection of Dexter inspired merchandise available for purchase online. For example, on the Showtime Comic-Con site, fans can buy anything from blood-spattered shot glasses to bobblehead figurines of all the major characters. [37]The site also sells limited edition silk-screen artwork that depict each of the seasons. The silk-screens sell for $49.95, and the season one edition has sold out. This strong interest in expensive show-related material reveals the high levels of activity and intensity among Dexter fans. It has proven a lucrative way for Showtime to not only capitalize on interest in the show, but also to foster higher levels of devotion by creating a community of fans who own sought-after commodities, and by celebrating the characters and plot points through tangible goods. The store also has a newsletter that it sends to subscribed fans, who the receive a store discount as well as updates on new items available for purchase. Additionally, independent sites sell Dexter-related material, such as whee tv, a website that sells t-shirts relating to popular shows, and fans can even submit favorite quotes to be designed and bought.[38] Again, this succeeds in escalating fan interest in Dexter, by giving them ways in which they can participate indirectly with their favorite show.

Availability of Episodes 

Showtime has a large and profitable presence in Apple's iTune's store, largely because it is a pay channel and iTunes allows it to reach people not among its subscribers. [39] Availability on iTunes also increases public awareness of the channel's original programming, since many of its shows have low ratings upon first-release but do well in later years after word-of-mouth has spread. 

Some have expressed doubts about cable channels future viability, because of the emergence of streaming movies that compose a large part of the channel's lineups shown on websites like Netflix and Hulu. [40]Dexter episodes are not shown on Hulu, but there are links to the Showtime website that has a number of clips and show promotions that are available for viewing. Showtime itself only has one episode of every show available online for viewing, in order to hook potential viewers and require them to seek full seasons elsewhere, like on iTunes. The first two seasons ofDexter can be streamed at Netflix, which allows the channel to reach a larger number of viewers. After viewing an episode of Dexter online, Netflix then suggests other Showtime programs for future viewing such as Brotherhood, Californication, and The Tudors. This further solidifies the Showtime brand name and encourages fan loyalty and interest in other Showtime original material. 

In addition, Dexter is available on DVD. The third season was released in the same week as HBO's Trueblood, and outsold it by 259,242 units. [41]

Online Advertising

On the Showtime official website, the are numerous ads promoting shows on the channel. At every juncture, the website reminds us how easy and convenient it is to subscribe to the channel in order to receive the full benefits that both the website and the programs have to offer. Showtime has been particularly creative with its campaigns to promote Dexter, creating magazine-like cover ads as well as rigging fountains to spew red, blood-like, fluid. These viral campaigns are meant to engage the casual viewer, and bolster the excitement with online buzz.[42]

References

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  2. http://companies.jrank.org/pages/3799/Showtime-Networks-Inc.html
  3. Arak, Joel. "Viacom makes split official." CBS News (2005): Retrieved 5 Oct 2010. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/06/14/national/main701875.shtml
  4. Wallenstein, Andrew. "Exclusive: HBO subscribers dwindling." Hollywood Reporter (Sept. 13, 2010): Web. 5 Oct 2010. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i29f492889037dafd9b8d2c8c75954ee5
  5. http://companies.jrank.org/pages/3799/Showtime-Networks-Inc.html
  6. Littleton, Cynthia. "Showtime, Disney ink output deal." Variety. Mar. 11, 2010. Web. 5 Oct 2010. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118016342.html?categoryid=14&cs=1
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  8. http://companies.jrank.org/pages/3799/Showtime-Networks-Inc.html
  9. Stelter, Brian. "Showtime’s Serial Killer Moves to CBS, to a Not Entirely Warm Welcome." New York Times Feb 16, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/16/arts/television/16dext.html?_r=1
  10. Showtime Official Site. Web. October 8 2010. http://www.sho.com/site/schedules/grid.do?date=10/08/2010
  11. Lieb, Rebecca. "Showtime Bows First Kindle Marketing Campaign." http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/3930-showtime-bows-first-kindle-marketing-campaign. econsultancy, 1 June 2009. Web. 30 September 2010
  12. Ryssdal, Kai "Conversations from the corner office: Showtime CEO Matthew Blank" Interview Transcript. July 16, 2008. American Public Media http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/07/16/corneroffice_blank_transcript/
  13. Cullers, Rebecca. "Showtime keeps doing the little things right." AdFreak. 10, 19, 2008. Web. 7 Oct 2010. http://adweek.blogs.com/adfreak/2008/09/showtime-keeps.html
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