Wednesday, October 8, 2008

PBS Brings Documentaries, Science Shows To Microsoft Xbox

PBS may be known for much more than Masterpiece Theatre these days, but the news that it will place parts of its programming on Microsoft’s (NSDQ: MSFT) Xbox is still something of a surprise. The public TV net is making a variety of full-length shows available for download on Xbox Live, the online games and entertainment network for the Xbox 360. The first set of PBS programs on Xbox Live starting today includes shows like Wired Science, Scientific American Frontiers, Nova and three Ken Burns documentaries. The content deal with Microsoft follows improvements to PBS’ video offerings over the past year. While PBS already has full seasons of programs like the TV news magazine NOW and Antiques Roadshow available for paid download on iTunes, the deal with Microsoft is designed to attract younger viewers. As for whether the placement of PBS documentaries actually will resonate there, Ross Honey, GM at MSFT’s Media and Entertainment Group, insisted in a statement that non-fiction programming has done well on the site.

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