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Microsoft in partner talks to bring more cable TV to 360

Report claims platform owner talking to Comcast, Verizon for Autumn launch

Microsoft is coming closer to finalising a deal which will see live cable TV services coming to the Xbox 360 in the US, speaking to established player Comcast and relative newcomer Verizon in a run-in to a partnership deal, a report has claimed.

Citing sources close to the company, a report by Digiday has claimed that the cable deal which Microsoft announced at E3 could be launching in the Autumn.

Microsoft, sources say, is looking to make allies rather than enemies from existing cable companies by facilitating the spread of their services, offering tightly targeted advertising and an install base of 35 million Xbox Live gold account members.

That install base would mean a raft of potential new customers for cable companies, who wouldn't need set top boxes or install processes, instead being ready to receive cable on a demostration or permanent basis, with an established billing system already built in to their hardware.

Previewing the forthcoming cable system last week at Microsoft's investor conference, Steve Balmer said that the offering would be live by the holiday season, with "dozens or hundreds of additional video content suppliers," providing "news, sports, and your favorite channels."

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Dan Pearson