May 29, 2009

Sky Announces Deal To Offer Streaming Service For Xbox 360

Microsoft and British broadcasting group Sky have announced a new deal that will allow Xbox 360 users to access its media content.

Detailed listings and show lineups have not been detailed, but the Sky Player will be released on Xbox in the fall. However, the lineup is expected to be similar to the existing offering on Sky Player service, which allows PC and Mac users to stream content.

The service will offer live channels, sports, on-demand shows and films and pay-per-view content.

Neither company gave pricing details, but said a variety of subscription packages would be available to customers.

"The entertainment world is changing immensely, with consumers looking for choice, flexibility and convenience, said Neil Thompson, head of Xbox UK and Ireland.

"They also want to experience community elements."

"Our customers have told us that they want the opportunity to use their consoles as a way to access TV and once again Xbox has pulled off an entertainment first with amazing content and rich entertainment experience."

According to BBC News, Sky's commercial group director Stephen Nuttall alluded to plans that would offer reduced pricing to current Sky subscribers based on their existing plans.

"Now Xbox owners can enjoy a wide range of TV through their console and can pick and choose the packages that are right for them," said Nuttall.

"For Sky, this makes our content even more widely available and opens up a new commercial opportunity."

Microsoft announced this week that its Xbox live community now holds 20 million subscribers.

Dan Cryan, a senior broadband analyst at Screen Digest, told Reuters that there were more than 2 million active Xbox live users in the UK by the end of 2008.

Sky has 9.3 million subscribers in the UK, and the company says it has "hundreds of thousands of people" using its online player regularly.

The company has set a goal of reaching 10 million subscribers by the end of 2010.


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