Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) announced that its FiOS TV application for Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox Live users will be available for download starting on Dec. 6. The move had been widely expected since last month, when it was reported that Verizon and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) were the latest carriers partnering with Microsoft on new apps. This falls in line with moves by other carriers, such as AT&T (NYSE: T), to push some video and broadcast services over the Xbox and other video game consoles.
However, GigaOM reports that users expecting the full FiOS programming experience are likely to be disappointed by the fact that the app launches with just 26 broadcast channels as part of it. None of the major broadcast TV networks are included on the list, which may not be surprising given that the major networks have been notably resistant to pushing their content through new devices like tablets and game consoles without getting paid more for new screen rights.
Like service providers in similar situations, Verizon is launching the app with channels owned by programmers that have allowed the app to fit into their distribution agreements. The carrier said it is working on launching more channels in the near future.
The new app is for FiOS customers who subscribe to both FiOS TV and FiOS Internet and are members of Microsoft Xbox LIVE Gold. The app also can be used along with the Kinect for Xbox 360 voice and gesture TV controller, and does not require any other new hardware.
Verizon and Comcast have been rumored Xbox partners
AT&T launched an Xbox option for U-verse customers last year