Spike TV to test live streaming to Xbox 360

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Next week, for the first time ever, you'll be able to watch a TV show on a game console at the same time it's being broadcast on TV.

Spike TV has struck a deal with Microsoft to simulcast its pre-E3 program GTTV Presents E3 All Access Live - in partnership with GameTrailers.com - on the Xbox 360. It's a five-hour show that includes commercial-free coverage of Microsoft's and EA's press conferences on June 6.

Spike's SVP of digital media Jon Slusser said in a Broadcasting & Cable article, "It was a brainstorm out of how do we make it bigger."

For Microsoft, the idea of turning the Xbox 360 into a makeshift cable box has been a pipe dream for a while. The company has previously commented on the possibility of allowing users to either access live TV via credentials through an existing cable or satellite provider, or actually becoming a cable provider itself and letting users pay for TV through Microsoft directly.

The Xbox 360, along with the PS3, has video streaming services that give users access to thousands of hours of TV shows to be viewed through the console, but those are old, pre-recorded programs. This is the first time any show has been streamed live on TV and console together.

Microsoft's dreams combined well with Spike for next week's event, as Spike wants to be in the headlines just as much as it wants to cover the headlines. 15 hours of content will be available no only on Spike's TV channel, but also on Spike.com, the network's official social networking sites, a billboard in Times Square, and live presentations near E3 in Los Angeles. "This is by far the biggest investment we've ever made in E3," said Slusser.

Exactly how Microsoft and Spike worked out the logistics of bringing a live TV show to the console is unclear. All the major cable operators have frowned on previous such ambitions. Nevertheless, it's a win-win for gamers.

Spike's E3 All Access show will air June 6 from 12 Noon - 5:00 PM Eastern Time. The first three hours are commercial-free.