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MS on digital content deal rampage

TiVo, MTV and FOX Sports all signed up

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Microsoft has announced deals with TiVo and MTV to provide content for Windows mobile devices, such as portable media centres and some smartphones and Pocket PCs. The company has also launched its own MSN Video Downloads service, which will make clips from sources including FOX Sports, MSNBC and Food Network available to its subscribers.

Blair Westlake, corporate vice president of the media/entertainment and technology convergence group at Microsoft said that the deals "greatly expand" the video content available for device like portable media centres and smartphones.

"Portable Media Centres are creating a new opportunity to take video, photos and music anywhere," he said. "Now if you want to watch video on the go, you have several more programs to choose from."

TiVoToGo, launched on 3 January, lets subscribers using a Series2 TiVo box transfer recorded programs to an XP-based PC. The companies said today that within the next two months there will be an update for the service that will allow the transfer of these files to portable devices.

The deal with MTV Networks is a longer term project which will see the two organisations collaborate to develop programming in formats specifically designed for portable media players. Content will include news, musical performances and other entertainment, the companies said. MTV will roll out the new offerings over the course of the next year.

Finally, MSN Video Downloads is kicking off with a combination of free content, free trials of subscription-only content, and paid memberships, costing $20 per year. All content is compliant with PlaysForSure devices, and while it is optimised for Portable Media Centres, it is compatible with Smartphones and Pocket PCs that support video.

The full channel list, available here, includes MSNBC with news updated throughout the day, FOX Sports, kids channel Cookie Jar Entertainment, and extreme sports channel TotalVid. ®

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