Microsoft told us when it announced the Xbox One that it wanted to be at the center of the living room experience. For many people, sports are central to that idea. To better move into that niche, Microsoft has established a partnership with IPTV provider NeuLion, according to a report on Polygon.
With this deal, Xbox One users will have access to both “24/7 linear channels… and on-demand content” at up to 6Mbps per stream at 60 frames per second. Alongside the streams will be real-time statistical data for the hardcore fans.
As Polygon notes, there are currently two sports apps on Xbox One; an NFL app and an ESPN app. Both applications have similar interfaces and pull data from the same accounts. NeuLion’s streams should give sports fans plenty of reason to visit their Xbox consoles instead of cable channels. If Microsoft gets this right, this could be another reason for gamers to cut the cable on their TV subscriptions.
Neither Microsoft nor NeuLion made any mention about what sports they’d actually be showing or when we could expect to see the service activated. With NCAA Basketball Championships and Major League Baseball’s opener both in March, getting the service live by mid-March could be a big boon for both companies.