Word on the street is that Microsoft is in talks with various content companies, Comcast, and Verizon about getting some TV content for its Xbox Live service. The initial report comes from Bloomberg, which reports that an Xbox Live streaming content service might be announced as early as next week, according to someone who is not authorized to speak publicly on the topic.
According to another report by Digiday, Microsoft is also working on an agreement with Comcast whereby Xbox Live users can sign up (and pay) for Comcast content that can be streamed through the system itself. As for now, Xbox Live users can get streaming content through Netflix or purchase movie and show rentals through the Zune Store. It makes sense though, that Xbox would want to broker some streaming deals of its own so it can get a little closer to the real action (and the real money).
Among the content companies that Microsoft may or may not be courting, according to Bloomberg, are Time Warner’s HBO cable channel, Sony Pictures’ Crackle, and NBC Universal’s Bravo. How a partnership with any of these organizations would manifest itself in the Xbox Live environment is anybody’s guess. With all the negative attention Netflix has been receiving after their repricing fiasco and the generally tumultuous state of its various subscription services, this would be an excellent time for Microsoft to make a move and try to wedge itself into the gap that Netflix has unwittingly left open. Can Microsoft fit into the streaming world? You can bet they’ll try.
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