Microsoft developing console TV service?

Report: subscription "content silos" planned.

Microsoft is planning to bring a new online subscription-only TV service to the Xbox 360, according to insider sources.

Reuters reported that the platform holder has held talks with various media companies to license TV networks for the new online service.

It's not clear as to exactly what form the service will take, but a number of options are apparently being discussed with TV networks.

One idea is a "virtual cable operator" delivered over the internet for a monthly fee. Another would see existing cable subscribers being able to access shows through their console with enhanced interactivity.

A third option would be the creation of "content silos" into which individual channels, such as HBO or Showtime, could be sold.

This wouldn't be the Xbox 360's first foray into TV functionality. In the UK, subscribers can already access the Sky Player, while in the US, Microsoft recently launched an ESPN on-console channel.

The traditionally lucrative pay-TV sector is facing increased opposition from online streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, not to mention piracy. A greater on-console presence would be one way to attempt a fightback.

It's all a long way off though. Microsoft is apparently mulling over feedback from networks and doesn't intend to launch anything in the next 12 months.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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