Microsoft officially announced plans to offer Xbox 360 owners the option to watch live television programs in June at E3 2011. Now a new report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, claims that Microsoft could finally release concrete details about the Xbox Live TV feature as soon as next week. The article repeats a previous rumor that suggests Comcast and Verizon have signed an agreement with Microsoft to offer their cable TV content on the Xbox 360.
Bloomberg's article adds that Microsoft is working to secure deals to offer three cable TV channels to Xbox 360 users: the premium pay cable network HBO and the Universal-owned cable channels Bravo and Syfy. In addition, Microsoft could sign agreements to offer Lovefilm UK on the service, which is owned by Amazon. Finally, in an odd twist, the article claims that Xbox 360 owners could also see content from Crackle, an Internet movie and TV service that's owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment. Sony is one of Microsoft's biggest rivals in the console game space with its Playstation 3 console.
Offering live television via the Xbox 360 console continues Microsoft's push to make the product more of an entertainment hub than just a game console. It already offers movie, TV show and music downloads via its Zune service, music streaming via Last.fm, streaming video of movie and TV shows from Netflix and Hulu Plus and live sports events from ESPN3. The live TV features are expected to be added to the Xbox 360 when its Dashboard revamp goes live later this fall.