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New television content - Ugly Betty and more - for Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 7 January 2008, 08:42

Tags: Xbox 360, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Xbox 360

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MGM and Disney deal signed

CES 2008 At Microsoft's keynote speech at CES 2008, Bill Gate's revealed that the Xbox live marketplace is expanding once again, adding content from two major entertainment partners. Microsoft Corp. Disney-ABC Television Group and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) will be joining the more than 35 networks and studios offering U.S. Xbox LIVE members premium entertainment content via the Xbox LIVE Marketplace Video Store.

“Disney-ABC Television Group and MGM are two of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, and this announcement helps continue to evolve and diversify the content offering on Xbox LIVE,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “The ability to offer such great content in high definition further expands Microsoft’s commitment to connected entertainment with Xbox 360.”

Later this month, all U.S. Xbox LIVE members will begin to have access to select TV shows and movies from the ABC Television Network, ABC Family, ABC News, Disney Channel and Toon Disney as part of an agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group. More than 500 hours of content, in both standard definition and high definition when available, will be offered including hit ABC Television shows “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ugly Betty” and “Desperate Housewives.” Past and current ABC shows will be available on demand, with new episodes arriving on the service the day after they air on television. A variety of award-winning ABC News broadcasts and specials from its unparalleled archive dating back to 1963 and containing priceless interviews, stories and historical moments will be available for download as well.

Viewers will also be able to enjoy shows from ABC Family, such as “Kyle XY” and “Greek, ” as well as popular Disney Channel series including “Hannah Montana” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” and select Disney Channel Original Movies such as “High School Musical” and “High School Musical 2.”

“As a company dedicated to providing consumers with a variety of high-quality entertainment and news content that they can view at their convenience, regardless of time, place or platform, we are very excited to bring our programming to Xbox LIVE members,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group. “This new agreement will not only provide incremental viewing opportunities, but also provides a wealth of promotional opportunities to further awareness of our shows and brands.”

MGM will be bringing its legendary movie library to the service, with classic films ranging from the “Rocky” series to “Dances with Wolves.” Action-thrillers such as “Terminator,” “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Amityville Horror,” comedies and broad-appeal titles such as “Legally Blonde,” “Barbershop” and “Agent Cody Banks,” and award-winning films such as “Platoon,” “Rain Man” and “The Usual Suspects” highlight the diverse launch lineup. United Artists, an MGM sister company, will be making films available as well. Many titles offered by MGM will be available in high definition.

“The Video Store on Xbox LIVE Marketplace has proven to be very successful, and we are excited that MGM will be a partner in 2008,”said Jim Packer, co-president of Worldwide Television at MGM. “At MGM we are always looking for new ways to reach our broad audience, and partnering with Microsoft allows us to make our legendary library available to the millions of Xbox LIVE members here in the U.S.”

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