Microsoft lands Fox content for Xbox Live

Tools

Viewers of News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA)-owned programs ranging from Fox's Fringe to The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel will be able to use voice and motion controls to navigate on-demand programming through the Xbox 360 with Kinect under a deal the media giant struck with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).

CEO Steve Ballmer announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Monday that News Corp. will supply several apps for its Xbox Live service, including content from Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and games from IGN Entertainment. The online video content from Fox properties will only be available to authenticated cable or satellite subscribers.

Last summer, Fox pulled its free, ad-supported online videos from Fox.com and Hulu, and said it would only offer access to authenticated subscribers.

It's not clear how much demand Microsoft will see from Xbox owners for the Fox News Channel app, considering the network appeals to an older demographic that may not be as interested in gaming consoles as Fox viewers. But the Xbox Live app, which would allow subscribers to interact with programming using their hands and voices, could appeal to viewers of Fox programs such as Fringe, Family Guy and Glee.

Microsoft has been signing deals with programmers and pay TV distributors to increase the amount of programming available through Xbox Live. Last fall, it struck deals with Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) to allow pay TV subscribers to access content from several networks through the Xbox.

For more:
- see the news release

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