Microsoft Cancels Xbox Live TV
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
January 12 2012 04:59 PM ET
Microsoft has decided to abandon its live TV service that it had planned to offer through Xbox Live, the company’s Internet-connected service for Xbox 360 owners. Licensing costs proved too high, according to a report today from Reuters.
Microsoft announced it would offer live TV channels through Xbox at last year’s E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles, but did not name partners, saying only that it expected to launch the new offering in the fall — which has come and gone without live TV.
Unofficially dubbed “Xbox Diamond,” subscribers would be able to watch broadcast television, share their viewing experience with other Xbox Diamond viewers and access Internet video channels, including YouTube, Hulu Plus and Netflix within the TV interface. Xbox Live subscribers have long had access to Netflix and Hulu Plus , but YouTube released its app for Xbox just last month.
Instead, Microsoft will pursue its partnerships with Verizon FiOS , AT&T Uverse and Comcast, third-party providers that offer their services for a fee through Xbox Live.
Cable companies can cross Microsoft off as a potential competitor, but Apple is pursuing its own live TV service. The company has met with media companies, but has not announced any partners. Apple may also be developing its first HDTV, which could be released as early as the fourth quarter of this year or sometime in 2013. Even without an actual television, an Apple live TV offering could find a home on Apple TV, its palm-size media streaming box. It remains to be seen if Apple can overcome the pricing hurdles that stopped Microsoft.