CES: 360 To Expand Media Role With MGM, Disney-ABC, BT
At its CES keynote, Microsoft has announced new partnerships with Disney-ABC and MGM to bring HD programming like Lost to its Live Marketplace, and said British Telecom will be selling a specialized Xbox 360 with Mediaroom IPTV capabilities.
Beginning later this month, Xbox Live will be bringing more than 500 hours of content, including ABC shows like Lost, Grey's Anatomy, and Ugly Betty, and family oriented shows from ABC Family and Disney like Hannah Montana and High School Musical to its Live Video Marketplace Service. The deal will also include backdated archive ABC News broadcasts and specials from as far back as 1963.
Film studio MGM has also signed on board with the Live Marketplace, bringing movies such as Rocky, Dances With Wolves, Terminator, and The Usual Suspects to the service, along with films from sister company United Artists.
At the keynote, Microsoft exec Robbie Bach said that with the new additions, the Live Marketplace will have "more than twice as much HD content as any cable provider."
The company also announced, turning to future IPTV developments via its Microsoft Mediaroom campaign, that UK cable provider British Telecom would soon be selling a specialized Xbox 360 with Mediaroom functionality built in. No similar announcement has yet been made for North America.
Said Bach in a statement, “Disney-ABC Television Group and MGM are two of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, and this announcement helps continue to evolve and diversify the content offering on Xbox LIVE. The ability to offer such great content in high definition further expands Microsoft’s commitment to connected entertainment with Xbox 360.”