Comcast, Microsoft Nearing 'Xbox TV' Deal: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

According to a new report, Microsoft may be in negotiations with America's largest cable providers to help create a solid foundation for its upcoming Xbox TV service.

Xbox TV was first unveiled back at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June of this year.

While Microsoft didn't say much about the service at the time, it did announce plans to "partner with TV providers" in order to make the service truly appealing to Xbox 360 users. Microsoft also said that it intended to bring local channels as well as sports and various news networks to Xbox TV. (Source:

On Demand, Cable TV Programming a Possibility

This week we're finally learning more about the to-date mysterious Xbox TV.

The rumor comes from tech blog Digiday, which says anonymous sources have reported Microsoft's continued talks with Comcast to allow Xbox 360 users to access the cable provider's programming on their video game consoles. Digiday also reports that Microsoft is talking with Verizon Fios in an attempt to reach a similar deal with that firm.

"... In addition to video on-demand, the new platform will also provide live TV spanning news, sports, and numerous popular channels. The service will be similar what Microsoft has already done overseas with Sky TV in the United Kingdom, Canal Plus in France, and FoxTel in Australia," say reports. (Source:

So, why work with Comcast and Verizon Fios rather than simply going it alone?

Digiday believes Microsoft is trying to keep things simple with its first venture into TV programming. It's reported that Microsoft doesn't want to "pick a fight with cable [providers]" for the time being. (Source

Cable Contract Would One-Up Sony, Nintendo

Of course, we're relying on Digiday and its anonymous sources for all of this information. However, the company insists the reports are accurate, and that we can expect the announcement of a Microsoft-Verizon-Comcast deal sometime in the next 30 days or so.

That said, the deal does make sense. By offering Xbox 360 users access to cable programming, Microsoft gets one leg up on its competition from Sony and Nintendo, which don't offer a similar entertainment option right now.

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