updated 03:00 am EST, Sat December 10, 2011
Microsoft may grab NBC execs for Xbox 360 TV
Microsoft is headhunting to get original content for the new TV features of its new Xbox 360 interface and Xbox Live, new rumors maintained Saturday. The source for Bloomberg said Microsoft had picked executive recruitment firm Stratis' Tom Schneider to search. Jeff Gaspin and Marc Graboff, both formerly from NBC, had been among those asked about signing on.
The company was determined to get the right leader and was willing to forgo the leadership entirely if it couldn't get the right person.
In updating the Xbox 360 to dramatically expand its video lineup, Microsoft landed a wide range of content, ranging from free videos on DailyMotion and YouTube through to pay-per-show services like the UFC and cable network live TV from Comcast. All among the dozens of deals, however, aren't unique to Xbox Live and in the cases of live TV often require having existing cable TV service to stream the video. Having original shows would let Microsoft create its own virtual channel and appeal to those who don't want to tie themselves to an expensive cable subscription.
Attempts to make such a channel have been slow in coming. Rumors of a live, originals-based Xbox TV channel emerged in April 2010 without any real progress in between. Even if accurate, then, the rumors might not guarantee that studios or Internet outlets intentionally limit their reach to one console, albeit a strong one.
The Dashboard update and the video updates have all been about broadening the appeal of the Xbox 360, turning it from a nearly exclusive gaming machine into a full media hub that competes with devices like the Apple TV, Boxee Box, or Google TV.