Showtime: More Pay-TV For Free On The Web

CBS’s Showtime, looking to complete its hostile takeover of Sunday nights from pay-TV rival HBO, is seeding the Web with “The Tudors” its porny Henry VII soap opera. As has become standard practice for Showtime, it’s putting the first episode online before it airs on TV.

It’s a strategy Showtime followed for “The L Word,” “Weeds,” “Californication,” etc. This time, Showtime is taking the show wider, with 60 partners including YouTube, Yahoo, MSN, Amazon Unbox, Netflix, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, iTunes and the CBS Audience Network. Showtime also added a Facebook app: “Bed, Wed or Behead?”

HBO (TWX) raised the ante with online freebies by putting the first 15 episodes of “In Treatment” online. The goal here is to drive subscriptions. Showtime has 15.5 million and HBO, 28 million.

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