Showtime is an American premium cable television service featuring programming that consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures, along with original series, made-for-cable movies, and occasional boxing and mixed martial arts matches. The channel is owned by Showtime Networks, Inc., a division of CBS Corporation. As of January 2012, Showtime's programming reaches 21.3 million subscribers in the United States. The Showtime brand is used by a number of channels and platforms around the world, but primarily refers to the group of channels in the United States. Showtime, originally a service of Viacom, went on the air on July 1, 1976, first shown on a local cable system in Dublin, California. Its first program was Celebration, a concert special featuring Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd and ABBA. On March 7, 1978, Showtime expanded to the national market via satellite, competing with HBO and other pay cable networks. In 1979, Viacom sold 50% of Showtime to TelePrompTer.
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