Microsoft inks deals with nearly 40 worldwide TV providers for Xbox LIVE TV

By Tom Warren, on 5th Oct 11 4:27 pm with 57 Comments


Microsoft announced on Wednesday a massive range of deals with high profile TV providers worldwide.

The deals will see a number of TV and entertainment channels coming to Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE service. Highlights include Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO and Syfy in the United States and BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 in the UK.

Xbox users will need the latest dashboard update, due later this year, to experience live TV with Xbox LIVE. Microsoft is planning to make the TV channels available to Xbox LIVE gold subscribers and some partners will integrate Kinect experiences with their TV channels. ”Today’s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Combining the world’s leading TV and entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360* and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless.”

The full list includes providers worldwide:

•    ABC iView – Australia
•    AlloCiné – France, Germany, Spain, U.K.
•    Antena 3 – Spain
•    Astral Media’s Disney XD – Canada
•    AT&T** – U.S.
•    BBC – U.K.
•    blinkbox – U.K.
•    Bravo – U.S.
•    BSkyB** – U.K.
•    Canal+* – France, Spain
•    Channel 4 – U.K.
•    Channel 5 – U.K.
•    CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
•    Comcast – U.S.
•    Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
•    Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
•    EPIX – U.S.
•    ESPN** – U.S.
•    Facebook** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
•    FOXTEL** – Australia
•    GolTV – Spain
•    HBO GO – U.S.
•    Hulu – Japan
•    Hulu +**– U.S.
•    iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
•** – U.K., U.S.
•    LOVEFiLM – Germany, U.K.
•    Manga Entertainment – U.S.
•    Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports – Canada
•    MediaSet – Italy
•    MSN with – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K.
•    MUZU.TV – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.
•    Netflix**– Canada, U.S.
•    Rogers On Demand Online (RODO) – Canada
•    RTVE – Spain
•    SBS On Demand – Australia
•    Syfy – U.S.
•    Telefonica – Spain
•    Televisa – Mexico
•    “The Today Show” – U.S.
•    TELUS** – Canada
•    TMZ – U.S.
•    Twitter** – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
•    UFC – Canada, U.S.
•    Verizon – U.S.
•    VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.
•    VimpelCom** – Russia
•    Vodafone Portugal** – Portugal
•    YouTube – Available in 22 markets
•    ZDF – Germany
•    Zune** – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    serious stuff happening on the xbox.. cant wait!

    • Shadow 024

      And to think, it’s only what… 6 years old?

  • Rich Gibbons

    This is EPIC! HAving Lovefilm and Blinkbox on my Xbox will transform my home media experience…and improve the ROI of my LoveFilm subscription…

    • Fludlyt

      I had no idea about Blinkbox, nice one! This is big news, BBC, Channel4 & Five, Lovefilm (can finally make use of the two hours streaming) & PS3 Media Server to stream my anime, Xbox has no competition :D

    • rsgx

      I wonder if the Live price will increase?

  • Jeff Kibuule

    How is this going to work? IPTV? A separate box? Do you know how much bandwidth a high quality HD stream takes up? At least a good 4-5Mbps.

    • Rodolphe2

      4-5Mbps is just 5% Bandwidth if you have 100Mbps optical fibre Broadband ( Available everywhere in EU).

    • alterSchwede

      WTF? 100 MBit everywhere in EU? I think you are seriously wrong!

    • Richard Raseley

      100Mbps fiber is not available everywhere in the EU.

    • Rich Gibbons

      Haha – what?! 100Mbps fibre is NOT available everywhere in the EU…where the crap did you get that from?!

    • Anonymous

      lol, you from Sweden or something? There are places in the UK that don’t even have 2Mbps!

    • WilliamTM

      I’d guess it’ll be IPTV and either SD or HD, depending on the operator. At the moment, Sky TV (UK) on Xbox is delivered via IPTV and in SD only, despite them having tons of HD channels in the UK. Fingers crossed that the others will be HD though – the BBC offer HD streams via the website and (I think) the PS3.

    • Guest

      I believe Telus in Canada is already delivering HD to Xbox. But the Xbox has to be a secondary set top. Not sure what if anything they’ve done with this announcement to change that.

  • Jason Hughey

    AWESOME!  This is great news.

  • Ben

    What is meant by AT&T**? I have U-Verse, but to my knowledge there’s not an existing an or support for Xbox as a set top box.

    • Keithfranklin

      For over a year a 360 could act as a satellite box in your house with U-Verse.  You need to pay $99 for a starter kit last time I checked.

  • GP007

    Tom, What’s the * and ** notes?  Those aren’t in the post.

    • Ben

      ** = Denotes existing partners on Xbox LIVE available today, * = Xbox LIVE Gold membership and/or other subscriptions/fees required. Kinect functionality varies by feature, provider and region

  • Anonymous

    Any word on bandwidth usage?  If you’re watching a service that you pay for does that affect your datacap?

    • Lewis McCrary

      Inquiring minds wish to know!

  • PG

    The verizon fios, comcast and at&t deals require you to be a current subscriber to their cable service already, this just means your xbox will act as a receiver via the internet. Microsoft really should have just inked deals with the networks directly bypassing the cable operators altogether, it seems they are doing that with syfy and a few other networks but they are a long way from there. Sure this saves me the 8 buck rental for getting a cable box but I still rely on paying for cable tv from my provider which doesnt have a deal with xbox (cox cable).

    • JimmyFal

      I wonder if it saves your from hunting around for the remote control, looking for the Input button, and dicking around looking for channels etc. I wonder if you can say, XBOX TV GUIDE, or XBOX channel 41, or XBOX “fuck apple tv!”

    • Anonymous

      All I want is NFL and NHL.  They are the only things I miss from my $50 a month cable plan.  If MS inked a deal with either one I would jizz myself.  ESPN360 just doesn’t cut it for me, even though I do like college football.

    • Richard Raseley

      I couldn’t agree more. This is a missed opportunity by Microsoft – they should have given consumers what they have been asking for for years now – a true À la carte television experience. Bypass the cable companies and go right to the networks.

      As it is now, I am forced to buy a more expensive Comcast plan in order to get just a few of the channels I really want.

    • Anonymous

      It’s probably going to the muscle of Apple to force the providers to offer ala-carte. When you have $87 billion in cash you can do things.

    • Richard Raseley

      What is the effective difference between that and Microsoft’s $55B USD? To be honest I don’t think it would take a whole lot of convincing to get Discovery (for example) to offer up each of their networks on Microsoft’s IPTV for something like $3 per channel per month… I’d pay it (and it is probably more than they get from the big providers TBH)!

    • Guest

      MS needs to maintain good relationships with those carriers. Not only do they have most of the infrastructure in place regionally to sign up way more customers than MS could ever hope to, but many are also the sales delivery arm for WP. 

  • GP007

    Ahh I found it..

    * Xbox LIVE Gold membership and/or other subscriptions/fees required. Kinect
    functionality varies by feature, provider and region. ** Denotes existing
    partners on Xbox LIVE available today.

    • Levi Freeman

      not all require xbox live gold

  • Emi Cyberschreiber

    at least now people wont say “US only” thank god!….

    • Anonymous

      +10000.  I have seen an incredible uptick in those comments in the last 2 weeks.

    • Anonymous

      US focused! ;)

    • Guest

      Yeah, where are all the complainers now?

    • alterSchwede

      Exactly 3!!! Providers for germany? That’s funny for the second largest export nation, biggest country in europe and one of the richest nations worldwide.But in general it seems that Microsoft doesn’t want our money: No Zune pass, no Zune, crappy XBox LiveTV and so on.

    • Guest

      Move to the U.S. then.

    • Anonymous

      typical german mentality. You think you deserve better than anyone else!

    • Guest

      Did you stop to think that maybe the other German cable companies wouldn’t commit? It’s clear from some of the other countries that MS was willing to do deals with all major providers. So maybe instead of pointing the finger at MS, you should be calling your local cable provider and asking them wtf were they thinking?

    • J A

      I don’t think it is a problem to stream to other countries from the US as long as they pay. Similar to how people buy Vonage and other US-based VoIP devices for use in other countries. It is the laws in those counries that hinders a lot of these things.
      This is great news for cable TV providers because they do not need to have physical presence where they deliver IPTV. A good example is that FiOS is quite expensive and time-consuming to deploy because Verizon has to dig all the way to the premises they need to get to. But with IPTV delivery to Xbox as long as the users have the required internet service they can subscribe to FiOS cable service.

    • Luis E. Padilla

      35 countries is still a paltry offering, since there are over 130+ countries where the Xbox 360 is sold

    • Carlos Ribeiro da Fonseca

      Hey, I resemble that remark! :)

      But over here, Vodafone has provided IPTV on the XBox 360 for more than two years :)

      What’s new here is that it’s integrated in XBox LIVE, not an application that one has to install separately.

      And it goes to show that Microsoft can provide services worldwide and take the lead over its competitors by a wide margin.

  • Ryan

    I am looking forward to the HBO GO on here. Sick of plugging the laptop into the TV via HDMI whenever I feel like HBO.

  • Kieran Kelly

    I think it would be good if microsoft created an accessory see you could connect your cable tv wire to your xbox and you could watch the channels through that.

  • phil jay

    You mean every provider develops his own app? like 40 different tv apps?!

  • Abhimanyu Jamwal

    omg!! microsoft just became the big daddy of TV world….chuck it google tv…you are owned, dusted and doomed and yes all this includes you 12billion motrola deal :P

  • Anonymous

    So much for Apple TV!

  • adam

    whooo bbc 4 uk

  • David Smillie

    Can’t see BBC on the page???

  • Morgan

    Why am I not shocked to see Time Warner missing from the list. Man do they suck!

  • Stark

    Dear Microsoft, now would be a great time to officially start selling/supporting X360 in Slovenia. And yes, we are in the EU. Pretty please.

  • Junior

    I like where MS is going with this. As long as it stays with Live Gold.

  • Anonymous

    Two questions:

    1) Can I use an Xbox as a replacement for my cable box to watch regular channels live?
    2) Do you have to have an Xbox Live Gold account to take advantage of this? If you have to pay yet another subscription fee in addition to your normal cable fee, what is the advantage.

  • Delta470

    Would be nice if they created a subscription based TV where you only subsribe and pay for the networks you want instead of the 1000+ channels of crap.

  • Chris

    would be awsome if microsoft will integrate the free live tv streaming services “wilmaa” and/or “zattoo” to the xbox. with WP7 as a remote control… *dreaming* ( a reason more to force my girlfriend to switch from iphone to WP ;) )

  • Thom McKiernan

    @tomwarren:disqus Can you clear up what BBC content is going to be on the XBOX. I always thought you couldn’t have BBC content on the XBOX due to legal issues with the TV license and XBOX Live Gold charges?
    Will it be the full blown iPlayer
    or some select BBC worldwide titles?

    • Levi Freeman

      if you read this, and click on the bbc link, they don’t explicitly say iplayer but we are inclined to believe so:

      furthermore, Microsoft has stated that BBC will be for all xbox live users regardless of gold or silver.

  • Levi Freeman

    I assumed that if you have an xbox you get xbox live. how can one live with an xbox not having xbox live gold? I shudder and the thought.