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Microsoft announced a deal with Time Warner Cable that will bring a ton of live channels to Xbox 360 owners, the company announced today.
With all the emphasis on Microsoft’s mission to make the Xbox One the go-to device for watching cable TV, it’s nice to see that it hasn’t forgotten about the Xbox 360. The move follows similar partnerships Microsoft has made to bring live TV programming to the Xbox 360 from Verizon’s FiOS and Comcast’s Xfinity TV.
The TWC deal will bring over 300 live channels to the Xbox 360, provided you’ve paid for an Xbox Live Gold membership. Some of those channels include AMC, BBC World News, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV, and others. (I’m guessing that this includes all the channels currently available on TWC’s iOS apps, which is pretty much everything except for the local broadcast stations, aka affiliates for ABC, CBS, Fox, CW, etc.)
The TWC live channels are only available to those with a cable TV subscription, and should be available on Xbox 360 later this summer, according to the company.
This isn’t the first time TWC has made their live channels available on a set-top box. The company first made a deal to bring those live channels to Roku devices earlier this year, which, honestly, provides a better TV watching experience than you’d get via the rental cable boxes provided by TWC.
Speaking of rental boxes, there is some speculation that this Xbox 360/TWC deal is a precursor to a bigger partnership that would allow people to get an Xbox One at a lower price by paying a subscription fee through a cable/Internet service provider. Right now the Xbox One retails for $499, but with subsidies that price could be much lower.
“It occurs to me that Microsoft has a ton of really smart people, and I think the $499 price point was set in anticipation of a subsidy from an Internet service provider,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter in a Facebook status update. “I expect to hear about a $199 Xbox One soon, and I think that the criticism of the price will cease right after. Hoping I’m right, it would be great to see a rapid adoption of the next generation, good for everybody.”
Would you be more inclined to buy a Xbox One for a lower price if you had to go through your cable provider? Let us know in the comments.