Missed the season premieres of “Dexter” and “Homeland” on Showtime? You can still catch them on YouTube for free, which is a pretty good deal considering they’re exclusively broadcast on a pay cable channel.
Both series made their return to the television screen last Sunday at 9pm and 10pm respectively. While YouTube viewers get a glimpse of the season premieres for free, Showtime isn’t giving all of them away. It warns online viewers that the episodes have been “edited from its original form,” so the uncut episodes can only currently be seen by ordering Showtime through cable and satellite providers.
Last year, Showtime broadcast the pilot episode of “Homeland” on YouTube, and has has also uploaded select episodes from their comedy hits “Weeds” and “House of Lies” to YouTube in the past. Rival pay cable network HBO also experimented with showing full episodes of “Veep” and “Girls” on YouTube earlier this year.
YouTube and social media have become increasingly important venues for television as it tries to compete with online content while promoting its own programming. Cable channels like HBO and Showtime are using the carrot and stick approach on YouTube to not only entice new viewers to their best programming but also to keep their fans hyped up for another season. Since “Homeland” swept the Emmys last week, this could also be more reason to introduce the series to YouTube viewers and boost subscriptions.