Microsoft announces wealth of new Xbox 360 content partners

Google TV

Google TV's pretty much been a non-starter since it was announced at Google IO in 2010. Trouble with networks and other content providers has kept any sort of mainstream adoption at bay, and we're still waiting on the long-promised update to Honeycomb that will bring more apps and features.

Microsoft might have just made any update moot with the announcement of a major update to the Xbox 360 and the announcement of  slew of new content partners worldwide. Movies. Games. Sports. News. Worldwide. Coming around the holiday season. Ouch.

Here's the list of the new partners:

  • ABC iView – Australia
  • AlloCiné – France, Germany, Spain, U.K.
  • Antena 3 – Spain
  • Astral Media’s Disney XD – Canada
  • BBC – U.K.
  • blinkbox – U.K.
  • Bravo – U.S.
  • Canal+ - France, Spain
  • Channel 4 – U.K.
  • Channel 5 – U.K.
  • CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
  • Comcast – U.S.
  • Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
  • Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
  • EPIX – U.S.
  • GolTV – Spain
  • HBO GO – U.S.
  • Hulu – Japan
  • iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
  • LOVEFiLM – Germany, U.K.
  • Manga Entertainment – U.S.
  • Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment/Real Sports – Canada
  • MediaSet – Italy
  • MSN with – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K.
  • MUZU.TV – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K.
  • Rogers On Demand Online (RODO) – Canada
  • RTVE – Spain
  • SBS On Demand – Australia
  • Syfy – U.S.
  • Telefonica – Spain
  • Televisa – Mexico
  • “The Today Show” – U.S.
  • TMZ – U.S.
  • UFC – Canada, U.S.
  • Verizon – U.S.
  • VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.
  • YouTube – Available in 22 markets
  • ZDF – Germany

Read over that list again. Those are just the new additions, folks. And YouTube -- probably the biggest draw on Google TV next to Pandora and Amazon -- is among them. This is going to be an uphill battle now, that's for sure.

Maybe Google's got something up its sleeve for Google TV. But a shovel might well need to be one of the tricks.

Source: Microsoft


Reader comments

The already-struggling Google TV just found itself in a deeper hole


My Xbox doesn't work with my DVR like GTV and it's a pain to go through my network, so I rarely use it for it. Plus the picture is a LOT better through GTV than Xbox

My Logitech Revue is in my living room connected to the big screen. I do have an Xbox360 but it's relegated to my bedroom because the only thing I use it for is to connect to a WMC 7 PC in my basement.

This speaks to Google's at times pretty naive approach to digital media.

Google TV in its first form was based around bad assumptions: the web is the future of everything, and everyone (even content creators) loves Google, so everyone will support TV on the web. It forgot that cable and satellite providers, and by extension the studios, don't want the future. They want you to pay $100 a month on a TV bundle where you'll never see 90% of the channels. Is it any wonder then that you end up with a box where you're supposed to spend most of your time on the web but most of the content you want to watch is blocked?

It might be a dance with the Devil, but Apple and Microsoft were shrewd enough to realize that commercial deals and local content are the important features for now. The Xbox 360 just became what Google TV still isn't (where's that fall update, Google?) but was supposed to be if everyone just did what it wanted them to.

Now would be the time to let a content provider use this as a base to create a great product.

Amazon - why don't you create a streaming device that works with your prime service that is Android based?

as i stated on GooPlus

Because my Revue will still be able to do a lot more that my xBox. tell my xBox to control my cable box, my DVR. Use my xBox as an IR blaster for the rest of of my entrainment center. and my xBox DLNA player. not to mention other things.

Exactly. I use my Google TV as an interactive layer on top of my existing television content. Xbox 360 is an alternative to traditional television viewing, it doesn't enhance your television experience, it tries to compete with it by delivering alternate content.

Google most definitely got it right, I think. It's a product that allows users to easily transition from traditional tv habits to newer interactive internet content at their own pace.

The product is obviously still immature, but I think it's only a matter of time (after a few updates) until Google TV takes off. I think the future of Google TV might be even brighter than the future of Android Tablets.

I like all the content that I can get on my Xbox 360, but (a) it requires a $50/year Gold membership and (b) it is only hooked to one TV in my house. When it comes to streaming content on any of the other TVs, a $99 Logitech Revue is still a better option than a $300 Xbox 360 + $50/yr. Not to mention, you need a different Gold account for each Xbox you want to stream on, so 2 Xboxes means two different Gold memberships.

Still, it would be nice if Google TV could garner this kind of content support.


I was a pretty early adopter to Google TV, I got a Sony GTV Last December. And while I can say I have been waiting awhile for the update, I cant complain about the device itselfs and what it already offers, it doesn't hurt I have a 360 with it.

I can turn on me tv and get to Netflix and content faster then turning on the 360 and loading it up and typing out what I am searching for too, not that the time is saving me much.

What I would really like to see is it bundled into Motorola Set top boxes in the future. If they could strike a deal like that with the the cable companies that supply the boxes it would be a goldmine. Imagine the interface of android on your tv instead of the normal guide we all use and have to work your way threw menu's with just a d-pad like we do now.

hopefully those 'channels'are available--REGARDLESS of your cable provider (cough ESPN3 cough)

otherwise--meh. this update doesn't matter to me.

I really don't see what A has to do with B. So Microsoft made some deals, therefore people won't want GoogleTV? They already don't. I don't think this changes anything at all. You know I get lots of stuff on my PS3 too, but that doesn't affect whether I want Google TV or not. I mean to watch "TV" on the xBox? Why wouldn't I watch it on Comcast or DirecTv anyway. Comcast is listed but you'd have to be a Comcast customer to view it on the XBOX, so .. why would you?

Also, as a US customer, I see the following in the "Additions" listed:
CinemaNow (Best Buy) – U.S.
Comcast – U.S.
Crackle – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
Dailymotion – Available in 32 markets
iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) – U.S.
Manga Entertainment – U.S.
Syfy – U.S.
“The Today Show” – U.S.
TMZ – U.S.
UFC – Canada, U.S.
Verizon – U.S.
VEVO – Canada, U.K., U.S.

HBOGO is cool, but, again, I would just watch HBO,or HBO on demand, not the XBOX .. I really don't think this means much for GoogleTV other than XBOX got the content deals done and Google didn't. Yet.

I think the article is in reference to cutting the cable cord and picking and choosing your subscription not injunction with a cable provider.

Except, it's not. You're not going to get Comcast OnDemand content if your provider is Verizon, and vice-versa. These are merely partnerships with the cable companies to provide a subset of their content via Xbox. The list is cunningly confusing in that they list individual networks and partnerships, most of which are also available on GoogleTV. As I see it, the only thing that's really hurting GoogleTV right now (aside from the "it's still coming" update) is missing support for Hulu. As a box that's just 'there' that lets me stream Netflix/browse the web/downloaded media/etc WITHOUT switching inputs on my TV? I can't think of a better device. Google/Logitech/Sony haven't done a very good job explaining exactly what the box is FOR.

Gotta agree here. I'm not seeing the connection. I use my 360 to watch ESPN3 every once in a while. Aside from that unless I haven't looked through the content area lately I have to PAY on top of already paying $50 a year to view this content don't I? I'm not going to pay extra for it on an a la carte basis. I'd get a Google TV or Roku box and use Amazon and Netflix first if I don't have Xbox Live Gold.

Googles goal was never to provide much content anyway. The goal seemed to be more about helping you manage it through search. For reasons we all know the providers decided that this was providing content and somehow they would loose money by allowing their websites to be shown on a device that doesn't have ad block while allowing it on devices that do and connect to the same TV. And I still believe the government should be looking into this selective blocking in the first place. The content providers are now trying to tell me which type of device I need on my end of the pipe to view stuff thats in standard formats.

Another thing to note is that about half of these new "additions" to XBox are already (pre-Honeycomb) available on Google TV (Crackle, Epix, HBO Go, Vevo, etc.)! Personally, there are several that are not offered on Google TV that I wouldn't even watch if they were (UFC, TMZ, etc.) So, while it's news that access to these sources has been added for XBox users, these are not developments that really hurt Google TV in any way, and will hurt it even less after the Honeycomb update rolls out to all TVs/boxes currently using Google TV.

It should also be noted that Google TV has access to a great number of entertainment sources that XBox does not.

The one big thing missing from Google TV is, in my opinion, Hulu. If they can get that deal done, it will go a long way to encouraging adoption.

I would not worry about passing judgement on Google TV until we all find out what Google is doing with their SageTV acquisition.

I really don't want an XBox running 24/7 and it does not integrate like GTV does. That is great for Xbox users and people who may want to drop cable but GTV is designed to work WITH cabletv not to replace cabletv. All that being said I would like to see some more time and effort put into GTV. My biggest request is to have some unique 2-way integration with Android phones so you could push content either way with 1 or 2 touches.

I use mine all the time non-stop with PlayON in my shop. My Xbox360 original I have had since the 360 first came out. I take apart my 360 every 6months to clean the dust and reapply Arctic Silver on the CPU and GPU. It has never overheated but I have worn-our DVD drives before. Dust is the number one killer of alot electronic I repairs since I do repair laptops an computers.

Google needs to shit can Google TV and focus on its core products in the Android line...namely get your crap together with the next version of android, namely Ice Cream Sandwich.

Funny thing is it depends on how you use your tv you can have a media center computer set up with terabytes worth of space and control and watch all your tv on an xbox including all the additional items.

I have enjoyed my revue but it has taken to long et all the content I like including streaming all my current content on to it. But my xbox will stream everything including mkv's with a simple codec install on the media storage computer.

I hope gtv gets this cause I love google I would want all of that on it but for right now my xbox does do more and I use it more than any other device for watching content on my tv.

only thing I don't use it for is Sunday NFL Ticket but the 10 seconds to switch over to direct tv right now is worth the input button.

I just got a Roku and love it... would be nice to have HBOGo on it but with Netflix, Hulu Plus, ability to play Angry Birds on your TV and other available channels this is a pretty sweet device, inexpensive, portable, and remote control functions via Android Phones or Tablets... I agree with SiliconAddict, they need to ditch Google TV and focus their efforts into other areas.

If Google gets Hulu, HBO Go, NBC Sports, and they finally get out the update GTV will be light years ahead of Xbox. Even with that incredibly unappealing list of new content providers they have.

I have an xbox and don't see how it would ever replace my google tv. Google tv is the future, Google just has to focus on it. The fact that the revue integrates so well is its greatest feature imo

I guess if a power hogging vacuum cleaner was my idea of streaming TV fun, Xbox would be all me. But its not, in the case of Sony TVs integrated with Google TV content no cable box needed, add true android experience, fully integrated single package, is quiet, seamless, and convenient. Its not a fair comparison, and will really be used most by people who had an Xbox running a lot of the time anyway.

I have an xbox and don't see how it would ever replace my google tv. Google tv is the future, Google just has to focus on it. The fact that the revue integrates so well is its greatest feature imo

I bought my Revue the day that the price dropped. I only have a Windstream as my internet provider because I run Free2Air Satellite. Which means that I can't get the HBOGo, because those require that you be subscribed to one of the cable/satellite providers, despite actually getting HBO on my satellite. But you know what? The Revue works seamlessly with my iLink 9500 satellite box. Searching for shows is simple. I wish that it had Hulu, and I figure it's coming. Even if all it was, was taken from the phone, and optimized for GTV. One day, one day.

TV channels are only a small part of GoogleTV. Being able to use a real browser with the Revue's keyboard is not something XBox will ever compete with. Hopefully GoogleTVs will also support apps.

Having a long list of garbage channels is something the Roku has had for a long time - it is the better comparison because it is competitively priced with GoogleTV.

Google bought SageTV and Motorola, I think they are going to be OK and have a plan.. Besides - Xbox can't install my Android APPS I use on my phone, tablet, etc - which is more appealing then the streaming options.. With apps comes more than a few possibilities with streaming, and NOT under the control of Microsoft ;)

Was "THIS" close to pulling the trigger on a Revue a few weeks ago.
I still want one, but I do wish they'd get on the ball and fast.