Reuters: Microsoft in Talks to License TV Network Content via Supported Devices

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Citing multiple sources, Reuters reports that Microsoft is in discussions with media content providers to offer its users television programming via its supported devices. Similar rumors regarding television content on the Xbox 360 surfaced in April 2010.

According to unnamed sources, Microsoft has held talks with media companies to license television content for a new online pay-television subscription service through devices such as the Xbox 360 console.

The report details three possibilities for the service: Microsoft expands its service to become a "virtual cable operator" offering content for a monthly fee, authenticating existing cable subscribers to give users more interactivity while consuming content, and the creation of "content silos" and selling users individual channels directly--like HBO--cutting out the packaged offerings of many cable companies.

As Reuters points out, Microsoft has had longstanding ambitions of cracking a seat at the TV business table, purchasing WebTV Networks, Inc. in 1997 and re-branding it to MSN TV in 2001.

With companies like Netflix, Apple, and Google pulling up chairs to the television content provider table, speculation of Microsoft's interest in its own service seems probable. Microsoft, however, says it will not comment on rumors or speculation--a response used so frequently, we're surprised the phrase isn't available on some kind of ironic t-shirt.

According to the Reuters sources, a Microsoft-backed television service--in any form--"may not arrive for another 12 months." Discussions, however, have been "productive," the sources claim.

With its last console dashboard update, Microsoft launched an dedicated ESPN3 app, which provides users with content from the Disney and Hearst-owned sports network.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 29, 2010 4:01 PM

    Wonder if that service will pan out into Windows Phone 7.

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