Microsoft’s latest hire points to rise of interactive TV on Xbox – Report

Thursday, 20th September 2012 13:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft could be gearing up to attack the world of digital TV, following the hire of Nancy Tellem, who was television chief at american TV giant CBS. Tellem was hired to head up a new Xbox content studio, suggesting that Microsoft is looking to go large on TV content soon, or into the next-gen.

Read Write Web has been sleuthing Microsoft’s hiring of Tellem, and notes that Tellem has an impressive work history, having greenlit shows like CSI, Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens to name a few. Tellem also helped create Friends and ER.

So it’s clear that Tellem knows the TV business inside out, but what will she be doing as head of a new studio at Microsoft? Well, the studio Tellem is heading up is the same that produced Kinect and the Xbox itself, according to Read Write Web.

The report also suggests that a Microsoft descriptor for Tellem’s role suggests the exec will work on, “interactive and linear content for Xbox and other devices. In addition to running the production studio, she will help spearhead the company’s efforts to turn Xbox into a destination where consumers can enjoy all their entertainment in one place.”

Read Write Web ran Tellem’s hire past Envisioneering Group analyst Richard Doherty, who suggested that she has been brought in to secure new content to compete with YouTube and Netflix, entering the Xbox format into something of a bidding war for top-tier content.

Doherty said of Tellem’s hire, “[Tellem] probably is the most important influx of new DNA, entertainment DNA, into a tech company, since Terry Semel at Yahoo.” That’s not a small deal by any measure.

It sounds like Microsoft is getting serious on TV content, but does this phase you? Do you watch digital content on your Xbox 360, or is it something that doesn’t interest you? Let us know below.

Thanks again, Read Write Web.



  1. Gheritt White

    You know what they could do with most? A show dedicated to videogames! Maybe the could call it, oh I dunno, Inside Xbox or something?

    Oh, wait…

    #1 2 years ago
  2. monkeygourmet


    Too soon! :)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    I like my consoles supporting stuff like NetFlix and LoveFilm. Do we need them to create their own service too? No – too much fragmentation there already.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. mrmike2012

    What the hell is MS doing? This is going to ultimately be their downfall. I think they’re forgetting the 360 is a gaming console not an entertainment center.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey

    @4, Games console it maybe, but you gotta wonder how much profit MS make from the NON-gaming side of the 360.

    I’m guessing oodles.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. mojo

    “but what will she be doing as head of a new studio at Microsoft”


    #6 2 years ago
  7. OlderGamer

    This is a real stregnth for MS. And could be a huge point of sales next gen. If your a core gamer feeling that the games industry cares less about you then it does making money where ever it can find it..just go with it.

    Here is a classic, from me, of course:

    “Nintendo is the only games company making hardware.”

    The other two guys are media companies, and I believe there is a difference. MS noted a while ago that more people use their xb360s to do things other then play video games. Just keep in mind, it isn’t like they will stop making games for you to enjoy. But it might just mean that the console universe no longer revolves around you or core gamers.

    But truthfuly, most people will just see MS expanding into broader media as increased value. I know I do. If I can replace my cable TV with a quality LIVE TV service…I am going to be tempted to keep my subscription going(it is set to run out in Jan).

    #7 2 years ago
  8. NocturnalB

    I think it’s a step in the right direction. The way tv entertainment is currently on the 360 is (stealing #3′s phrase here) too fragmented, and unstable. Too many silly services, it needs condensing, simplifying, and to be made strong and reliable.

    They need to make it feel as fundamental and easy to access in your console experience as checking achievements, friends, mail, etc. If they can bring real actual no bull live television to the NextBox and make it easy enough to work into the reflexes, it’d be a huge hit.

    Also adding to #1′s post, i think it’d be cool if they made their own gaming channel similar to TechTV (NOT like G4TV) for the console.

    #8 2 years ago

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