Digiday is reporting that Microsoft is currently negotiating deals with Comcast and Verizon to bring television to U.S. customers via the upcoming Xbox TV service. Xbox TV is a service that was demonstrated at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this summer that will allow users to view live television straight from their Xbox. Unlike the Media Room functionality used by AT&T U-verse, Xbox TV would be built right into the Xbox 360 dashboard. It’s a given that you’ll need at least an Xbox Live Gold subscription for the pleasure of watching, but WinRumors is also speculating that the new services will bring with it a new tier to the gaming service named Xbox Live Diamond. This would most likely provide all of the current features of Live Gold, like Hulu Plus, Netflix, and ESPN3, but also would include the television content as provided by the cable provider. Of course there was no word on pricing, and it’s possible the price will be different based on carriers.
When Microsoft announced Xbox TV at E3 this year, many wondered how the content would be brought into the ecosystem. It now looks as if Microsoft has chosen to work with the cable providers, as opposed to obtaining licensing deals directly from the Hollywood studios. This has a huge advantage in that it means Microsoft won’t have to be constantly battling licensing issues with the studios. They will instead only need to target the large cable companies, and then be able to provide all of the content that the cable companies have to offer.
No dates or prices were leaked, but it sounds like these partnerships may be announced very soon.