Microsoft, according to a Bloomberg report, is planning a Web pay-TV service and will incorporate it into Xbox Live.
The company is talking with two dozen content companies, most notably Comcast Corp. and Verizon, to include a brand new programming menu of music, movies, sports, and TV shows. Microsoft announced in June that 35 million people used its paid Xbox Live service around worldwide.
Adding Comcast's or Verizon's footprint could accelerate the growth of how much more TV is watched and provide cable companies with access to the younger entertainment-obsessed demographic and game-loving families.
Having Microsoft include their services could prove beneficial for both Comcast and Verizon. The former had 22.5 million pay-TV customers as of June 30. The latter had 3.8 million.Putting their services on more devices and making it easier for people to watch could significantly stem defections to other services like Hulu.
Last week, the blog Digiday, citing anonymous sources, reported that Microsoft was nearing a deal with Comcast that would allow Xbox 360 owners to sign up for the cable provider's service, and watch its programming from the game console.
Microsoft has been constantly asked to take a larger role in distributing content by using Xbox Live and the company's successful Xbox videogame console. Xbox Live already offers movies and TV shows for rent and purchase.
Bloomberg wrote that Microsoft also expects to sign licensing deals with Time Warner's HBO cable channel, Sony Pictures Crackle streaming service, and NBC Universal's Bravo.
Microsoft is expected to make its live TV service available this fall.