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Showtime Touts Deal With Sheraton

Showtime will announce a deal to place its premium network in Sheraton Hotels, an inroad into an out-of-home category dominated by rival HBO, according to a report.
The New York Times Monday said Sheraton, with 74,000 rooms, will make Showtime a standard brand, but that individual hotels could opt to take HBO as well.

The Sheraton arrangement is facilitated by LodgeNet Interactive, the Times reported.

Noting HBO’s hotel hegemony -- the story said LodgeNet provides free-to-guest programming to a million U.S. hotel rooms of which 98% include HBO and 2% carry Showtime -- the story quoted Showtime chairman 

and CEO Matt Blank as saying, “We’re no longer second-best to anyone.”

The story said overall HBO has 29 million subscribers, versus 16 million for Starz and 15.5 million for Showtime.

Sheraton hotels will get an early look at the second season of Showtime series The Tudors, which returns March 30, the Times story said.