CBS's Showtime developing online video service

Service would be similar to HBO GO.

The cable-television company Showtime, a CBS subsidiary, is developing an online video service to retain subscribers who have been recently drifting away to channels offering such services.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the service would be similar to HBO GO, which HBO and Cinemax are offering to about 40 million subscribers at no additional cost. HBO GO is available on Verizon Communication's FiOS TV service.

An anonymous source close to the company told the magazine that Showtime, with 18 million pay-TV subscribers, is discussing the planned service with pay-TV operators that distribute the channel. BusinessWeek has also predicted that News Corp, CBS and Viacom would be considering dividend increases or share buybacks following an advertising rebound to offset cutbacks during the recession.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, CBS may boost its quarterly dividend by 60 per cent to 8 cents a share this year.