DIRECTV and Microsoft Announce Long-Term Agreement to Expand the Reach of Digital Content Throughout the Home and on the Go

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 5, 2006 — DIRECTV Inc., the nation’s leading digital television service provider, and Microsoft Corp., the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions, have formed an alliance to develop new ways to expand the reach of digital music, television and movies throughout the home and to portable devices. Under the agreement, announced today at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, DIRECTV and Microsoft will work together to enable the flow of digital content among Windows®-based PCs, DIRECTV’s set-top boxes, PlaysForSure™-compatible devices and the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system, which will allow customers to experience DIRECTV programming and digital content stored on their Windows-based PCs in a variety of new ways.

“This agreement is a significant milestone for consumers and content owners, since it will greatly extend the reach and flexibility of digital entertainment in the home,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “By integrating our Windows Media® platform technologies with the DIRECTV service, we have created a pipeline for an incredible variety of premium digital entertainment to move seamlessly and securely throughout the home to anywhere a DIRECTV customer wants to enjoy it.”

“DIRECTV is committed to delivering the best television experience available, and through our new alliance with Microsoft, we will extend that experience in a way that will allow us to deliver our programming wherever and whenever our customers want it,” said Chase Carey, president and CEO of DIRECTV. “Through this agreement, both companies will be able to expand the reach of digital content and work together to create a variety of exciting new ways for our customers to enjoy the DIRECTV experience as well as the digital content stored on their Windows-based PCs.”

DIRECTV will adopt Microsoft® Windows Media platform technologies to enable connectivity to and from DIRECTV set-top boxes, Windows-based PCs, PlaysForSure-compatible devices and the Xbox 360 system. The connectivity will provide the ability to do the following:

  • Transfer DIRECTV content to be enjoyed on a Windows-based PC or directly via a USB port connected to a PlaysForSure-compatible device

  • Access the music, video and pictures stored on a Windows-based PC using a DIRECTV set-top box

  • Extend the DIRECTV experience to the Xbox 360 system

As a cornerstone of this agreement, Microsoft and DIRECTV will also work to align the best-of-breed digital entertainment experience offered through Windows Media Center Edition with the rich TV experience offered through DIRECTV. DIRECTV customers will be able to use a Windows Media Center-based PC as a DIRECTV receiver to create an all-in-one digital entertainment environment, supporting both national and local standard-definition and high-definition services.

About DIRECTV, Inc.

DIRECTV, Inc. is the nation’s leading digital television service provider with more than 15 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc. DIRECTV (NYSE: DTV) is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment. DIRECTV is approximately 34 percent owned by News Corporation.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows, PlaysForSure, Xbox 360 and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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