New York – Microsoft (NASD: MSFT) has held "in-depth" talks with Disney-owned (NYSE: DIS) ESPN on the possibility of streaming live sporting events to its Xbox 360 video game console, The New York Times reported.
The deal would reportedly see ESPN charge Microsoft a per-subscriber fee for access to the live streams and other content, which may include some interactive games, people close to the talks told The Times.
To date, Microsoft has sold over 39 million Xbox 360 consoles, around 20 million of whom also use the Xbox Live online service each month to play games online, as well as watch a growing stable of movies, TV episodes and Web videos.
The Times noted that Xbox Live’s average of more than 1 million concurrent users, rising to as high as 2.2 million at peak periods — rivals ratings on cable channels like Cartoon Network or TBS — but cautioned that many on Xbox Live are playing games, not watching video.
One of The Times’ sources noted that a deal between Microsoft and Disney "was not imminent."