• European TV partners join Xbox Live

    European TV partners join Xbox Live
    09.40 Europe/London, October 6, 2011 By Julian Clover

    After more than a decade of trying to enter the TV space, Microsoft has announced a slew of deals that will put content from more than 20 countries onto its Xbox console.

    The BBC, Channel 4, Lovefilm (UK), Telefónica (Spain), Mediaset (Italy) and ZDF (Germany) join North American partners that include Bravo, Comcast, HBO Go, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in a beefed up version of Xbox Live before Christmas. BSkyB and Canal+ are already established partners.

    A total of 50 partners will be available, subject to geographic restrictions, to the existing 35 million users of the service.

    “Today’s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Combining the world’s leading TV and entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless.”

    Linear and on demand services from Sky and Canal+ have been available for several years. In the case of Sky, subscribers can use the Xbox to access Sky content on a ‘bonus basis’. Non-DTH customers can subscribe directly through Xbox 360.

    The BBC already has versions of the iPlayer available on both the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. Cyrus Saihan, senior business development manager, BBC Future Media said the BBC had identified the Xbox as having one of the biggest commercial footprints available. “The level of awareness around connected TVs is still growing, with much of the mainstream audience still exploring the expanded capabilities of their new internet connected TVs, DVD players and set-top boxes – this is partly why the scale of and familiarity with gaming consoles is so exciting”.

    Channel 4, which has previously made progressive deals with partners such as YouTube will offer Xbox 360 gold subscribers the opportunity to view catch up content from the past 30 days as well as archive material.

    Sarah Milton, Head of VoD at Channel 4, said: “Continuing our strategy of making content available, on demand, where our viewers most want to watch it, we’re delighted to be able to offer 4oD on Xbox Live.”
    This article was originally published in forum thread: European TV partners join Xbox Live started by chris View original post