Steve Ballmer reportedly visiting Hollywood to garner TV deals for Xbox One



May 4, 2013
When Microsoft announced its new Xbox One console a few weeks ago, it focused on the television capabilities of the device. Microsoft has since said it will concentrate on games at the E3 gaming conference next week, but the head of the company is reportedly visiting Hollywood to garner media partnerships at the same time.

According to a report by Deadline, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met with television executives such as Les Moonves, CEO of CBS; and Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, co-CEOs of talent agency William Morris Endeavor. The meeting was said to be orchestrated by Nancy Tellem, Microsoft's new head of entertainment and digital media; Tellem previously worked with Moonves when she was president of CBS.

The meetings were "part of [Microsoft's] effort to drum up exclusive content" for the Xbox One, Deadline reports, something the company has been known to be working toward even before its new console was announced.

Ballmer reportedly told the media executives that Microsoft "doesn't want to be a cable carrier," but rather wants to focus on unique methods of delivering sports, music, reality and scripted content. The comments likely refer to ways Microsoft could use its next-generation Kinect motion sensor and create paired apps to promote interactivity with original content. Microsoft showed an example of an NBA game working with a paired app that provided real-time stats during its Xbox One announcement.

The alleged comments show how Microsoft's stance on content has changed in just a year. Last June, Microsoft reportedly attempted to work with television networks to create a new tier of Xbox Live that would allow users to stream content similar to a cable network. Deals were never finalized, however, and Microsoft is believed to have abandoned the route because of difficulties with channel bundling – the process in which television studios require service providers to license its most popular channels along with less-popular channels.

Source: Deadline