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24 Comments // Filed in Web / Etc

Showtime Website: Americans Only

Update: Showtime Customer service gave me a reply

Sorry - We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States
(if you’re outside the US, click the image above to see the same message live)

OK, seriously. What?

Why am I, a Canadian who has access to the Showtime channel on cable actually, I have access to Showcase in Canada, not Showtime, but that’s moot point now not allowed to view their website? Zach couldn’t access the site through his English home, even though he mentions it’s also one of his favourite networks. I went to check Google to see if they have any regional websites — even if they did, their “sorry” message should have it listed — and I couldn’t find any equivalent.

This is baffling. Why does a station that runs programs like The L Word being discriminatory against international visitors on the web? Who, btw, could be watchers of their various program offerings?

Why would any website do this?

24 blabs to Showtime Website: Americans Only

Add something to the conversation!

I know, ist stupid isn’t it. sigh

No alternatives either.

Picture of Karl

Name Karl

Date Jan 06
08:30 PM

Maybe they need to be shown an atlas of the world?

Picture of aj

Name aj

Date Jan 06
09:13 PM

Could be for a couple of reasons – if they have trailers or programming that isn’t licensed for the Net outside the US, they might have to turn away users. Alternately, it could be a polite way of blocking certain IP ranges that are known to be the source of DNS attacks, etc.
You get Showtime in Edmonton? I thought you had to get the Canadian-licensed equivalent, Showcase?

Picture of Lea

Name Lea

Date Jan 06
09:39 PM

AJ — omg, you’re right, Canada gets Showcase, not Showtime. I got confused as they do show similar shows.

However, the other reasons seem weak to me. I think there would be easier ways to block attacks than banning other countries altogther. As for licensing: full episodes, I understand, but trailers to be licensed and kept only in the states? That’s weird.

Being based in the UK this and other ‘US is the world’ stuff narks me rather. I might live on an island the size of a postage stamp (england is rather small when it comes down to it), but I do exist along with a few other countries lol. Other particular annoyances include the US only competitions – to this date have not seen any UK based only ones in such abundance. Maybe we all should stop whinning and move to america or just get our countries to become states – although got feeling that is what Blair and our government seems to be doing. :-)

Picture of Koray

Name Koray

Date Jan 10
07:12 AM

What I find funny is that I, an American, can view showcase.ca. But you, a Canadian, cannot view sho.com.

Silly isn’t it?

Picture of Dan

Name Dan

Date Jan 11
07:34 PM

How about a coralized cache?


Does that work outside the US?

Picture of Lea

Name Lea

Date Jan 12
01:11 AM

Dan, nope, still brings me to the “Sorry” message. I can only see the front page of Showtime through Google Cache. Other than that, still blocks me. I sent their customer service an e-mail when someone forwarded me a page I actually could access, but no one has replied to my why it’s being blocked yet.

Well, as a brazilian webdesigner all I can say is, that’s against all that I ever learned in my whole life…

this sucks…

what do they have to say to americans that we can’t “hear” too?


p.s: my first comment here… I discovered this blog just this monday, but already love it ^^ keep up the good work

Picture of kirby

Name kirby

Date Mar 27
05:54 PM

if you really want to get in, then you can use an internet cloak.


go into “start surfing” and then type in the address for showtime…you can’t see everything that americans get to see but I guess its’ better than nothing

Picture of Steve

Name Steve

Date Jun 29
06:45 PM

Th cloak works just fine from Montreal. Great hint. Thanks.

Picture of Craig

Name Craig

Date Aug 29
12:03 AM

FUCK SHOWTIME. They don’t realize that, as Canadians, we are an indispensable part of the television viewing consumer base. This is their loss. Boycott Canadian displays of Showtime’s shows.

Picture of Matt

Name Matt

Date Sep 03
08:39 AM

using The-cloak, I managed to check out their help pages and found this entry:

Question Non-US Resident: Why can’t I access your website? Answer Showtime is available in the United States only.

So what? Why restrict the website to the US only? I mean, what’s the point?

Picture of Kizz

Name Kizz

Date Sep 17
09:36 PM

I find it really funny that all the Canadians on here are getting all worked up about not being able to get into the site, saying things like –
FUCK SHOWTIME. They don?t realize that, as Canadians, we are an indispensable part of the television viewing consumer base. This is their loss. Boycott Canadian displays of Showtime?s shows. “

I dont know if they realise but Showtime hasn’t just restricted access to Canadians its everyone in the world that isnt the US, so Im sure its not a personal attack at Canadians…

Picture of ACanadian

Name ACanadian

Date Oct 19
08:56 PM

Kirby! Thanks for the work around, I’ve been looking for something like this for ages.

I think it is incredibly rude. Why apologize? They are doing it on purpose.

Now… back to downloading showtime shows off the net! Eat me showtime! It’s moves like yours that make people find covert ways to get around your silliness.

Picture of Frank

Name Frank

Date Oct 30
06:19 PM

Seems to be working now – I’m in Canada – does it work outside Canada/USA?

Picture of Angela West

Name Angela West

Date Dec 12
12:37 PM

I just wrote them a nastily worded complaint as well. I complained of this once before and basically got a trite, form letter type reply.

It is almost enough to make me stop watching Showtime offerings. I will certainly think twice about watching a new Showtime show in the future and will turn to something else without these discriminatory practices instead.

Speaking as an experienced webmaster and computer geek, this would take a lot of work. This isn’t something that someone at Showtime has done arbitrarily – it is something that has been mandated at the corporate level to cut down the level of customer service to international demographics that don’t represent as many dollars per head as the US one. How god-awful, but at least how heart-wrenchingly honest at the same time. Still, this brand of honesty has turned me off of Showtime, quality programming or not.

Picture of khendar

Name khendar

Date Dec 15
04:41 AM

I just sent this through The-Cloak to their contact page:

As an Australian, I was surprised to find your site is restricted to US citizens only. I’d heard good things about your programs and was hoping to learn more information about the upcoming season of Brotherhood, the first season of which I had imported to Australia. However I found I was unable to access your site because of this restriction.

I understand that Showtime is not available outside the US but why restrict access to information simply because a person is not within your borders? International people still purchase DVD’s. International people still desire information about your programs. I have not seen this kind of limitation on any of the other US cable channel sites that I have seen.

No limits…Right…



Its sadly ironic by the way that your FAQ contains a question which reads:

Non-US Resident: Why can’t I access your website?
Showtime is available in the United States only.

What use is that to anyone ? If they cant access your site, then they cant access the FAQ which states why they can’t access the site. Brilliance.

Lets see how that’s received =)

Hi everyone BTW =P

Picture of Kendra

Name Kendra

Date Jan 11
04:45 PM

We are Americans AND trying to access anything from Showtime we get the same message… FROM the USA… so can it be a problem with their server as I haven’t yet heard from fellow Americans that ANYONE else can view it either?

Picture of Jayla

Name Jayla

Date Jan 31
05:08 PM

you used to be able to access the site by putting like origin somewhere in the link but i dont think it works anymore! it sucks :( Ps I live in canada too :P

Picture of Rose

Name Rose

Date Mar 14
02:12 PM

Good site! I found in google.com =

Picture of LuLu

Name LuLu

Date Jun 15
09:07 AM

hmmm, I can get into sho.com no problems, maybe all the complaining made them fix it?? Anyways I’m in vancouver and simply trying to find out where I can watch The Tudors?? Anyone know?

Picture of Cali

Name Cali

Date Mar 28
07:46 PM

I bought season 1 of the Tudors on DVD…they love to take my money, but I’m denied watching the show in season 2 and must wait until reruns on showcase…that sux!

Picture of Andre

Name Andre

Date Oct 22
04:40 PM

Reason: MONEY

I think that the reason for this is that is has contents that other countries still don’t have on their cable TV.

Probably showtime has contracts with cable companies around the world, and to showing episodes in the Internet that did not pass on these countries cables is loosing money.

I would pay them to whatch their series on their site.
But I am not allowed :(

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