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Microsoft and BBC plan deal for Xbox video

Microsoft hopes to team up with the BBC for the UK version of Xbox 360 Video Marketplace

Microsoft is looking to partner up with the BBC when it launches a UK version of Video Marketplace, the Sunday Times reported yesterday.

According to the article, Microsoft has spoken to the BBC and a number of other broadcasters about making their content available for download to UK Xbox 360 owners.

Video Marketplace for the UK

"We are working diligently on multiple fronts to make it happen," said Ross Honey, senior director for media at Microsoft's content and partner strategy group. "The BBC is a great content provider."

Microsoft already operates a downloadable movie, TV and video service for the Xbox 360 in the US. Video Marketplace content partners include: Touchstone, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Paramount and NBC.

The Video Marketplace has always been part of Microsoft's strategy to make the Xbox 360 a "home entertainment hub". Sales of the Xbox 360 have already increased in the UK after the launch of the newest version of the console - the Xbox 360 Elite.

The BBC, meanwhile, is pursuing a multi-platform digital strategy. It currently makes a selection of its TV shows available on its own iPlayer, plus BT Vision VOD and Virgin Media's Catch Up TV and VOD services.