Apparently Microsoft are in talks with media companies with a aim to bring pay-television services to the Xbox . I thought this was already happening with the Zune marketplace but this seems to be about bringing either full channels via the 360 or a la carte options. If they could work out the content details and offer TV shows over via Windows, Xbox and Windows Phone then they could have a very comprehensive service

Reuters said:

The maker of the Windows operating system has proposed a range of possibilities in these early talks including creating a "virtual cable operator" delivered over the Internet for which users pay a monthly fee.

Other options include using the Xbox to authenticate existing cable subscribers to watch shows with enhanced interactivity similar to how pay TV operators have sought to do over the Web, said these people.

Microsoft is also exploring the possibility of creating content silos and selling more individual channels directly such as an HBO or Showtime. It already has Walt Disney Co’s (NYSE:DISNews) ESPN on the XBox Live online service for example.

These people said a service may not arrive for another 12 months, but early discussions have been productive.

0 thoughts on “Microsoft May Challenge Cable Companies With Pay TV Service Through Xbox”
  1. I wonder where Media Center fit into all of this?

    Personally I’d love to see Microsoft bring some integration between Xbox/Zune Marketplace and Media Center, then focus on an embedded W7 Media Center that was either Microsoft branded or sold with controlled hardware (like Xbox or WP7) and finally bring that product into the Xbox. I’ve already commented enough on where I’d like WHS to fit into this picture. 🙂

    However it almost seems at times like divisions of Microsoft compete against each other, and it looks like Xbox is winning the battle for the TV screen.

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