Microsoft is in talks with the British Broadcasting Corporation which may result in some of the corporation’s TV content being available through Xbox Live. Video content is already available in the US where MS has partnered with various broadcatsters including MTV and Disney.
Microsoft is also in talks with other European broadcasters about similar deals. Microsoft is wanting to bring a variety of high quality video content to Xbox live including hi-def programming such as the BBC’s Planet Earth.
“We are working diligently on multiple fronts to make it happen, The BBC is a great content provider.”
said Ross Honey, senior director for media at Microsoft’s content and partner strategy group. This development follows on from Sony announcing their plans to release a TV tuner and PVR system for the PS3 at Leipzig. Sony has also signed a deal with Sky to make TV shows, sporting events, and movies available on the PlayStation Network on a pay per view basis.
I have misgivings about BBC content being made avilable on Microsoft’s console. Because anyone in Britain has to pay a TV license, which pays for the BBC, if we are made to pay for the content available on Xbox Live by Microsoft, we’re basically being asked to pay twice. The BBC is a public service broadcaster, funded in the main by the license fee, and as such everyone who pays a license should have free access to the products and services which the BBC makes. The BBC recently ran into a little trouble when its own iPlayer software, which allows you to download selected BBC programmes to your PC, was only made available on Windows XP, denying users of other operating systems (including Vista) the opportunity to use this free service. I’m hoping that the Beeb has learned from that faux pas.