Does Showtime’s Matt Blank Know Games?

So how to wrap up the series about TV and movie executives knowledge of videogames?

At the Future of Television East conference, the first guest was Matt Blank, Showtime’s longtime CEO. Along with HBO, Showtime features the best dramatic series on television. From Weeds to Dexter, the quality is compelling, moving and addictive.

Surprisingly, one of the first things Blank mentioned upon being questioned was videogames. This would have never happened a few years ago. When I asked Blank about videogames, it was clear that Showtime wasn’t about to make a console game or PC game or any over the counter product. But Blank did fairly enthusiastically highlight some of the Dexter games on the Showtime site and one for the well-reviewed download for the iPad.

Primarily, Blank seemed most enthused about the possibilities for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 as delivery systems for Showtime content. “I look at the PlayStation 3 almost the way I look at WiFi connected Blu-Ray player,” said Blank. It’s another box that has the potential of sucking you in to become a fan of Nancy Botwin or Dexter Morgan.

But gamers need more than a link or a download or a video snippet on the PlayStation store. If they watch via a game console, they expect some cool additional content. Showtime, and any cable company delivering shows via the PS3 or the 360, should be aware of that.

-Harold Goldberg


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