LONDON May 29 Millions of Xbox 360 owners in
Britain and Ireland will be able to watch live programming such
as Premier League soccer and movies following a deal with pay-TV
group BSkyB BSY.L.
The two companies did not give any pricing or full channel
line up details but said users of the broadband-enabled games
console would be able to watch around 20 live channels on their
TVs, including sports, entertainment, movies and news.
They will also have access to an on-demand library of
thousands of programmes, in what the two companies described as
the first time live programming would be available through a
A number of subscription packages will be available, as will
the opportunity to access programming on a pay-per-view basis.
Users will also be able to take advantage of the Xbox live
interactive service, such as talking to other fans while
"Our customers have told us that they want the opportunity
to use their consoles as a way to access TV and once again Xbox
has pulled off an entertainment first with amazing content and
rich entertainment experience," said Neil Thompson, head of Xbox
UK and Ireland.
Dan Cryan, a senior broadband analyst at Screen Digest, saod
the deal made sense as the offer of sports would also appeal to
the average Xbox user and said both firms were trying to widen
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said this week its Xbox live
community had reached 20 million users, but did not break out
sales figures for Britain and Ireland.
Cryan said Screen Digest believed there were over 2 million
active Xbox live users in the UK by the end of 2008.
Sky said the agreement was part of its strategy of using a
range of platforms to reach as many customers as possible. For
Xbox, the deal could attract new audiences by offering a wider
range of entertainment through the games consoles.
The two companies said the service would be launched from
(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by David Holmes)