The IPTV camel has inched its nose a little further under the tent. You might find PBS and Microsoft to be unlikely partners — especially centered on a video gaming console like the Xbox 360 — but the two have come together to offer PBS programming on the Xbox LIVE service. You might be as surprised as I was to learn that Xbox LIVE already offers more than 8,500 hours of video and movie programming. The PBS deal will add “a broad selection” of full length television programs including Wired Science, Carrier, Scientific American Frontiers, and Nova.
If you detect a technology slant, you’re right. According to Microsoft representative, “nonfiction programming has performed very well on Xbox LIVE.” With more than 10 million Xbox 360s installed in the US, I have to expect that many of them have access to broadband Internet connections. And as their users become accustomed to being able to watch movies and television shows on their TVs through the same box that plays their Xbox video games, I’m guessing that they’ll find it harder and harder to go back to programmed network broadcasts.
The seeds of change have been sown.