Microsoft to Get Into Online TV Game in UK

Paul Lilly

Broadband subscribers living in the UK will soon be able to watch TV shows over the Internet with a new online TV player Microsoft plans to launch next week, UK newspaper Guardian reports. Dubbed the MSN Video Player, the move fills a void left by the defunct Project Kangaroo and gives MIcrosoft a head start on other competing services like Hulu and Arqiva.

"The hole left by Kangaroo was something that provided a catalyst," said Ashley Highfield , the former BBC director of future media and technology who was briefly Project Kangaroo chief executive before moving to Microsoft. "To some degree there is a void left by Kangaroo, there is a gap for an aggregator."

Microsoft has already struck programming deals with both BBC Worldwide and All3Media. As such, the ad-funded video service will launch with over 300 hours of content from BBC shows, including Peep Show , Shameless , The League of Genlemen , Hotel Babylon , and The Young Ones .

Looking long term, Microsoft hopes to expand its service to the Xbox 360 and to mobile devices.

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