French media giant Canal + has inked a deal with Microsoft to provide some of its content to Xbox 360 owners, but I would imagine that the offer is only available to Gold customers. The deal comes a month after Microsoft made a similar deal with British pay-TV BSkyB.
Like so many of Microsoft’s recent decisions, the deal with Canal + is an attempt to create a more well-rounded (and more attractive) media entertainment console in order to shore up some of its French marketshare. There are about a million Xbox 360 owners in France, but the Wii still dominates the French market.
Canal + is roughly the French equivalent to HBO: they show movies and drama and have exclusive contracts to broadcast soccer matches. This new deal would offer French 360 owners about 6,000 different titles (about 3,000 of which are movies) and access to French, English, Spanish, Italian, and German association soccer games, including the UEFA Champions League tournament.
While there are several Canal + packages available, most of them seem to run between €40 and €60 per month, and a French Xbox Live Gold account costs €60 for a year. Pricing details for Canal + on the 360 aren’t available yet, but I’m sure it will be competitive: Microsoft are trying to attract new customers after all. Besides, the French are pretty tech savvy: tech and gaming magazines are still flooding the French market, and I even saw “PSP>DS” grafiti’d onto a train once a few summers ago. They’ll know bullsh*t when they see it.
But you know what’s really cool about this? Le soft-core porn on your 360.