Today, Time Warner Cable and Xbox announced a new partnership that will bring live channel streaming to the platform. Time Warner Cable subscribers with a Xbox Live Gold membership will be able to install an app on their console that will bring them up to 300 channels of live broadcast content. While it was not specifically disclosed, the app should provide those customers with on demand content as well.
Details on which channels would be available to stream live was not made available, but will likely include the same 300 channel line-up that Time Warner Cable launched for streaming on Roku devices in March of this year. This also comes on the heels of TWC TV announcing an app specifically for Samsung Smart TV – which does not include live streaming.
TWC is not the first multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) to form a partnership with Xbox nor are they the first to bring live streaming of channels to the platform. Verizon FiOS launched a live streaming app on the Xbox in December 2012 for their subscribers, but it is limited to only 75 channels. Xfinity rolled out their Xbox app in May of last year, but it only provides customers with access to on-demand content – although they have announced a plan to bring live streaming to the console by the end of 2013. Cox Communications has yet to join the platform with their own experience, but does authenticate Xbox apps from TV Networks for their subscribers.
We’ve seen a flurry of activity in the entertainment world as MVPDs and networks are expanding their TV everywhere models to include the Xbox Live platform. Recently, both Disney and The CW Network launched their own content channels. With over 46 million members, the Xbox Live platform provides MVPDs and networks with a large audience to expand their brand presence and connect with fans of their shows.
Microsoft has made it clear that they are aiming to be the dominant entertainment hub platform in the home, especially with the launch of their next gen Xbox One console in November. As that date approaches, we should see more TV networks rolling out their own custom experiences for the Xbox Live platform in advance of the new Xbox One launch.
UPDATE (8/28/13): The Xbox Live App is now available for download.
Image Credit: Microsoft Xbox.com