MICROSOFT is courting the BBC as it plans to launch its digital television and video service in Europe.
The software giant is intent on turning its Xbox 360 video-games machine into a digital entertainment hub offering films, TV shows and high-definition programmes. It already offers video content in America via its Xbox 360 video-games console.
Launched last November, Xbox’s video service has content deals with big Hollywood studios and television networks that include CBS, Disney, Fox, MTV, Paramount and Warner.
The service allows users to download video content from the internet onto their machines. The Xbox can also play high-definition video when linked to a HDTV set.
Last year the BBC signed an agreement with Microsoft to explore ways of developing its digital services.
Ross Honey, senior director for media at Microsoft’s content and partner strategy group, confirmed the company had spoken to the BBC and several other European media companies.
Microsoft was attracted to the BBC’s library of content and to high-definition programmes such as the award-winning series Planet Earth, Honey said.
“We are working diligently on multiple fronts to make it happen,