Showtime looks set to follow HBO into the world of online streaming, by soon offering customers a package similar to the newly announced HBO Now service. The news was announced by Leslie Moonves, the chief of Showtime's parent company CBS who told investors at a conference in Palm Beach, “the days of the 500 channel universe are over.”

Leslie MoonvesLeslie Moonves and his wife Julie Chen

According to Deadline, Moonves said the channel would announce a service “in the not-too-distant future,” and added he’s been having conversations with “the normal suspects” including cable and satellite distributors who were initially skeptical.

“There’s been a bit of interest – I think the floodgate is now open,” the chief said. “We got a number of calls yesterday from existing players and digital players that we’ve talked to in the past.… The content we have at Showtime is also premium. I don’t think there’s any way, shape, or form for anybody to look at [the launch of HBO Now] other than as a major positive for premium cable.”

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The move comes as more and more households in the US are getting rid of their cable and becoming ‘cord cutters’ after growing tired of paying for hundreds of channels they never watch. "The days of the 500-channel universe are over," Moonves said.

"The days of the 150-channel universe in the home are not necessarily over, but they're changing rapidly. People are slicing it and dicing it in different ways.”

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But while some networks may be fearful of the future Moonves doesn't foresee trouble for Showtime’s parent company CBS. “We are very different from the other three guys that have a lot of cable properties behind them.” “

Our major brands are CBS and Showtime,” the chief told investors, before adding that as the top-rated network, “you can’t live without CBS.”