MS in talks with Peter Chernin over XBL TV channel
Reports surface of proposal to raise XBL subs fee to fund exclusive programming
Microsoft is in talks with former News Corporation president Peter Chernin to offer an exclusive television channel to Xbox Live users, reports have suggested.
According to anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg, the exec has been in meetings with the platform holder, and suggested raising the XBL subscription fee by $1 to $2 in order to fund programming aimed specifically at the service's young, male audience.
The channel would be jointly owned by Chernin and Microsoft, said one source, and feature both original programmes and re-runs of shows.
Chernin was formerly the president and COO of News Corp, and chairman and CEO of Fox Entertainment Group. He now runs his own production company - Chernin Entertainment - and his publicist confirmed he was looking at the digital space an avenue of distribution.
"Peter is talking to lots of people about lots of ideas in the digital space," said publicist Allan Mayer, although he wouldn't comment on whether meetings with Microsoft had taken place.
Microsoft currently charges $7.99 per month for access to the XBL service, and also allows Netflix film rentals for an additional $8.99 a month.
Paying users of the service reached 23 million in February worldwide, with concurrent users reaching an all-time high of 2.3 million in January.