Executives at Microsoft are fond of saying that its subscription gaming service, Xbox Live, should be thought of as a cable channel.
They want Xbox to be seen not merely as a gaming machine for teenagers, but as a media portal for parents and grandparents, too. The company is even producing shows for users: it is in the middle of the second season of “1 vs. 100,” an interactive version of a game show that was on NBC.
The content ambitions do not end there. Microsoft has held in-depth talks with the Walt Disney Company about a programming deal with ESPN, according to people close to the talks, who requested anonymity because the talks were intended to be private.