7th October 2011 - Microsoft today announced that two new Australian television partners will be coming to the Xbox LIVE service with ABC iview and SBS ON DEMAND.
With 36 television channels currently available on the FOXTEL on Xbox 360 service+, including FOX SPORTS Rugby World Cup channel, the new television applications will add hundreds of new programs and hours to the Xbox LIVE service, delivering even more entertainment, sports, news and drama programming to anyone with an Xbox LIVE subscription.
Commenting on the announcement, David McLean, Consumer Channels Group Lead, Microsoft said: “We have seen success with FOXTEL on Xbox 360 to date with more than 215,000 downloads of the application and expect that Australians will welcome the additional content that ABC iview and SBS ON DEMAND brings. Couple that with the unique experience that comes with Kinect through the wave of a hand and soon to be voice command*, we are creating brand new ways for people to interact with their entertainment.
“The Xbox LIVE service is growing rapidly, as is the demand for digital content. Last year we saw 51% growth in overall Xbox LIVE subscriptions year on year in this market. Australians really have an appetite for using their Xbox for more than gaming, and these partnerships are just the beginning on delivering on our entertainment vision.”
Sally O’Donoghue, Manager, iview and Internet Broadcasting, ABC TV added: “The ABC has been at the forefront of developing services for new platforms to meet the changing expectations of Australian TV audiences. ABC iview is an exciting part of that story, having recorded exponential growth over the last three years on an increasing number of platforms and devices. We’re excited to confirm that this will soon include Microsoft Xbox LIVE, subscription free.
ABC iview offers a range of trusted and popular family and children’s content such as Giggle and Hoot and Bananas in Pyjamas, in addition to prime time TV catch-up including The Slap and The Gruen Transfer. We think younger, digitally savvy audiences will love the Kinect functionality, which will allow navigation of iview by voice control or with a swipe of their hand.”
Michael Ebeid, SBS Managing Director said: “We are excited to be partnering with Microsoft as Xbox LIVE embarks on this exciting new chapter. The partnership builds on SBS’s commitment to making its content available across a range of platforms. Xbox LIVE subscribers will be able to access – on demand – many of SBS’s programs and series including its flagship food and documentary titles.
The two new applications will be available in coming months and will include the complete catalogue of both the ABC iview and SBS ON DEMAND services.
The announcement comes as Microsoft globally revealed this morning that nearly 40 partners worldwide will roll out entertainment services to the Xbox 360 console in time for the Christmas holiday period. For Australia, these include YouTube, Crackle and The Daily Motion. By partnering with the world’s leading entertainment providers, millions of people will see first-hand that TV entertainment is more personal, effortless and social on Xbox 360.