Here Comes Xbox's Live TV

Back at E3, Xbox promised us live TV, but was mum on details. Today, Microsoft is explaining how they’re going to make live TV a reality on your Xbox 360 this holiday season: with the help of almost 40 entertainment providers around the world.

Can you imagine the office somewhere in Microsoft HQ where a team of Xbox staff members have been hunkered down for months, locked in feverish negotiations with countless cable providers, and premium networks all over the world, trying to make their promise of “live TV on Xbox” a reality? Not too many companies would have been able to deliver on such a big promise, but Microsoft announced today that they’ve succeeded. (It’s worth noting that Microsoft’s list of nearly 40 partners is comprised more of video-on-demand services than live TV, but the live stuff is in there.)

AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are the big headliners here in the U.S., but dozens of others have signed on for Xbox owners all over the world. Microsoft’s tactics seem to have been to get anyone and everyone they can onboard with their “New Xbox TV Experience,” as it’s being called, because aside from cable providers, their announced partnerships also include cable networks (like BBC, Bravo, and Syfy), premium networks (HBO), and even individual programs (The Today Show). There are also a number of Internet-based video providers on the list, and it’s a virtual “who’s who” that includes the likes of Crackle, Daily Motion, Epix, Hulu+, Netflix, Vevo, and YouTube.

The New Xbox TV Experience is optimized for Kinect users and enhanced with Bing voice search, so that (as you can see in the video above) all you have to do is tell your Xbox what you want to watch — be it a TV show or a movie — and Bing search will bring up every available instance of it for you to choose from.

Of course, most of this content will only be available to Xbox Live Gold members, and some of them, like HBO Go, have separate subscription fees as well. More than 20 countries will get the New Xbox TV Experience come this Christmas with the next Dashboard update. Users will find deep integration with Facebook and Twitter for social sharing, and as always, users can watch simultaneously with friends across the Internet, and use Kinect’s voice and gestures to control the action.

Check out the screenshots below, and then you’ll find the complete list of Xbox’s new partners at the bottom of this page.

  • ABC iView – Australia
  • AlloCiné – France, Germany, Spain, U.K.
  • Antena 3 – Spain
  • Astral Media’s Disney XD – Canada
  • AT&T – U.S.
  • BBC – U.K.
  • Blinkbox – U.K.
  • Bravo – U.S.
  • BSkyB – U.K.
  • Canal+ – France, Spain
  • Channel 4 – U.K.
  • Channel 5 – U.K.
  • CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
  • Comcast – U.S.
  • Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
  • Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
  • EPIX – U.S.
  • ESPN – U.S.
  • Facebook – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
  • FOXTEL – Australia
  • GolTV – Spain
  • HBO GO – U.S.
  • Hulu – Japan
  • Hulu+ – U.S.
  • iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
  • – U.K., U.S.
  • LOVEFiLM – Germany, U.K.
  • Manga Entertainment – U.S.
  • Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports – Canada
  • MediaSet – Italy
  • MSN with – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K.
  • MUZU.TV – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.
  • Netflix – Canada, U.S.
  • Rogers On Demand Online (RODO) – Canada
  • RTVE – Spain
  • SBS On Demand – Australia
  • Syfy – U.S.
  • Telefonica – Spain
  • Televisa – Mexico
  • The Today Show – U.S.
  • TELUS – Canada
  • TMZ – U.S.
  • Twitter – Available in all 35 Xbox LIVE markets
  • UFC – Canada, U.S.
  • Verizon – U.S.
  • VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.
  • VimpelCom – Russia
  • Vodafone Portugal – Portugal
  • YouTube – Available in 22 markets
  • ZDF – Germany
  • Zune – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.
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Robin Parrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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