Xbox Live adds dozens of TV and film partners
Microsoft rolling out new deals with Comcast, Verizon, HBO, BBC, TMZ, YouTube, and UFC this holiday season.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft was in talks with "nearly two dozen" content providers to introduce new music, TV, and film content to Xbox Live. Microsoft today confirmed the report and then some, releasing a list of 38 partners whose shows will be newly available through the Xbox 360 online service starting this holiday season.
Among the biggest names on the list are cable TV providers Comcast and Verizon. When the services go live, Comcast Xfinity subscribers will have access to more than 10,000 episodes of on-demand TV, while Verizon FiOS customers will be able to watch 26 channels of live TV, including MTV, Spike, Food Network, Comedy Central, HBO, CNN, and Nickelodeon.
While those two new additions will be limited to US-based customers, UK Xbox 360 owners will be getting integration of BBC programming and LoveFilm, among others. Other notable additions to the slate of content partners include HBO GO, TMZ, YouTube, and UFC.
Many of the content partners will support Microsoft's motion-sensing Kinect peripheral, but that isn't the only alternative control method being offered. Microsoft is also going to release a free Xbox Companion App for Windows Mobile phones. The app will allow users to search for content on Xbox Live from their phones and cue it up on the system without needing to pick up a controller.
[UPDATE]: A Microsoft representative clarified for GameSpot which services will need existing subscriptions or Xbox Live Gold accounts, saying, "Public service broadcasters, like BBC, and transaction-based applications, like Best Buy's CinemaNow, will be available to all Xbox Live members. Other applications and services, such as HBO GO, Bravo and Dailymotion, will require an Xbox Live Gold membership."
A full list of the partners and the regions in which their content will be available follows below.
AlloCiné--France, Germany, Spain, UK
Astral Media's Disney XD--Canada
CinemaNow (Best Buy)--US
Crackle--Australia, Canada, UK, US
Dailymotion--Available in 32 markets
iHeartRadio (Clear Channel)--US
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports--Canada
MSN with MSNBC.com--Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, UK
MUZU.TV--France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK
Rogers On Demand Online (RODO)--Canada
SBS On Demand--Australia
"The Today Show"--US
VEVO--Canada, UK, US
YouTube--Available in 22 markets