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USA, Syfy Launch Xbox Apps with Access Restricted to Pay-TV Customers

“Sharknado 2” is coming to Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console — but you have to subscribe to a participating cable, satellite or telco TV service to gain access to it.

NBCUniversal has launched apps for cablers USA Network and Syfy on Xbox One, the programmer’s first content services on the platform. USA Now and Syfy Now provide access to new episodes day-after-air, along with recent episodes from each network.

NBCU has authentication deals with pay-TV providers including Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS, Cablevision Systems and Cox Communications. Time Warner Cable is the biggest operator that isn’t on board.

For Microsoft, the addition of NBCU’s “TV Everywhere” services is aimed at making Xbox a more attractive hub for entertainment. Earlier this month, Microsoft said it was shuttering Xbox Entertainment Studios, ending its bid to produce original content for the device.

USA Now gives authenticated subscribers access to full seasons, current episodes and select episodes of shows including dramas “Suits,” “Graceland,” “Covert Affairs” and “Royal Pains,” as well as its newest original series, “Rush” and “Satisfaction.” The first seasons of reality series “Chrisley Knows Best” and comedy “Playing House” are also available, along with five rolling episodes of such shows as “Burn Notice,” “White Collar” and “Psych.”

With Syfy Now, full seasons and select episodes are available for series including “Defiance,” “Dominion,” “Helix,” “Haven,” “Being Human” and “Warehouse 13.” Other programming includes “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” which premiered Wednesday night on the network, along with full seasons and rolling episodes of unscripted series like “Face Off,” “The Wil Wheaton Project,” “Paranormal Witness” and “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge.” Original digital content from BlastrTV is also featured on Syfy Now on Xbox One.

“The launch of Syfy Now and USA Now TV Everywhere apps adds a range of new TV shows and movies to Xbox One, including hit TV series, movies, behind-the-scenes video, original digital content and more,” said Mike Nichols, corporate VP for Xbox. “Our goal is to help our customers have more fun, and we are excited to offer them an ever-expanding range of quality gaming and entertainment experiences with partners like NBCUniversal.”

Separately, NBCU’s CNBC launched on Apple TV earlier this week, available to customers of the Peacock’s pay-TV partners.

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