Move over, Netflix; you’ve been replaced as the king of streaming television with Microsoft’s announcement of new partnerships for Xbox 360 with 50 international content providers, including HBO—the one “get” that Netflix has never quite managed.
The company’s announcement yesterday means that Xbox LIVE will soon be streaming live content from Bravo, Syfy and HBO in the U.S., BBC and Channel 4 in the U.K., Spain’s Telefonica, Germany’s ZDF and Italy’s MediaSet, amongst many others. Other partnerships include Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand and Verizon’s FiOS TV, meaning that more shows will be available via on-demand offerings. FiOS subscribers will even be able to use their Xbox 360s instead of cable boxes, too.
Microsoft’s President of Interactive Entertainment Business, Don Mattrick, said that the announcement was “a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy,” adding that it would make “TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless.”
The new partners will join Xbox’s existing media partnerships—amongst them, Netflix, Hulu+ and AT&T—and pretty much replaces the need for a cable box anytime soon. I mean, AT&T, Verizon and Xfinity On Demand, as well as HBOGo, Hulu+ and Netflix? What good TV shows aren’t available through all of that? What’s the catch? You’ll have to pay a full subscription fee to each company in order to access the content on your Xbox, that’s what.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.