Verizon Fios TV app bringing 26 channels to Xbox 360

The communications company says an application for Xbox Live, designed to enable subscribers to watch live programming, will be available next month.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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Some of the companies bringing television content to the Xbox.
Some of the companies bringing television content to the Xbox. Microsoft

Verizon's live-television offering for Xbox Live is coming next month, the company announced today.

Starting in December, Xbox Live Gold members will be able to download a Verizon Fios TV application to their Xbox 360 gaming consoles. Upon doing so, and as long as they're both Verizon TV and Internet subscribers, they'll be able to watch live programming on 26 channels through Verizon's service. Verizon didn't say which channels will be offered, but it did acknowledge that the selection will depend "on the customer's TV package."

Microsoft announced a wide-ranging television agreement last month with a host of service and content providers. At the the time, the software giant said it had inked deals with approximately 50 companies around the world, including NBCUniversal's Bravo network and Time Warner's HBO, to provide their content through the Xbox. The move is part of a broader strategy on Microsoft's part to make the Xbox a key component in the living room, outside of gaming.

To help it achieve that goal, Microsoft is relying heavily upon its Kinect motion-gaming device. In fact, Verizon said today that Kinect owners will be able to control its Fios TV service with "voice and gesture commands" through the peripheral.

To sweeten the pot a bit for Xbox owners, Verizon is offering a special deal that bundles Fios TV service with Verizon Internet and phone service, starting at $89.99 per month. Customers who sign up between now and January 21 will also receive 12 free months of Xbox Live Gold service and a copy of the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary game.