It’s the entertainment industry’s latest version of Where’s Waldo: what in the world is Peter Chernin up to? Working with Steven Spielberg on a sci-fi pilot for Fox, pitching movies, and, in today’s installment, possibly plotting a programming deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) for an Xbox “TV” channel aimed at young males. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, citing unidentified sources, Chernin met with Microsoft execs in Redmond last week to discuss a proposal to create an exclusive channel with original programming and reruns for Xbox Live subscribers; under the proposal, the two would jointly own the channel. Chernin’s publicist told them — quite truthfully, from what we know — that he is talking to lots of people about digital ideas.
One source said the former News Corp (NYSE: NWS). COO suggested adding a dollar or two to monthly Xbox Live fees for the programming. Currently, Xbox 360 owners can join Xbox live but pay for premium games and content; for a monthly fee, Xbox Live Gold members get access to multiplayer games and other premium content, while those with Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) subscriptions can download video through the Xbox. Chernin, an old hand at negotiating cable fees, knows one of the surest ways to make money from programming is to get a little from everyone across a service, not just offer it as an option and hope a large enough percentage will buy in.
Update So where’s Chernin tonight? At the Staples Center watching the Lakers in front of @demandrichard,