BBC cult classic to feature on entertainemnt hub
Microsoft is to fund a remake of cult BBC sci-fi series Blake’s 7 for broadcast on its Xbox Live service, according to reports.
The Financial Times said its sources had confirmed the technology giant would fund development, but had not commissioned a full series.
But the show’s producer described the story as "rumours".
Microsoft is looking to place its Xbox Live service as a competitor to the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm.
With the launching of its new Xbox One console, Microsoft is looking for its newest release to become an entertainment hub, rather than solely a video game console.
But in the latest setback this week, the company announced the One’s rollout would be delayed in many countries.
The news comes as Microsoft is receiving criticism from its latest announcement.
Customers in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland will all have to wait until after Christmas if they want to own the machine.
Microsoft said that the console was still on course for a 2013 launch in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
With Blake’s 7, Microsoft would be imitating other on-demand competitors in commissioning its own exclusive material.
Netflix’s House of Cards, also a remake of a BBC original, was well received by viewers and critics, earning an Emmy nomination for top drama series. Amazon-owned Lovefilm has also commissioned several exclusive series.
Welsh novelist Terry Nation’s Blake’s 7 is set about 700 years in the future, and follows the exploits of Roj Blake and his band of rebels as they take on totalitarian leaders in charge of Earth and several other planets.
It was broadcast by the BBC in the 1970s and 1980s, and had about 10 million viewers.
The show has since been reincarnated in various guises, including a series on BBC Radio 4.
In April 2000, the rights to the television show were bought by its current producer, Andrew Mark Sewell.
Speaking on the news of the Xbox One’s delayed launch in several key markets, the company said in a statement: "While we wish we could launch Xbox One simultaneously in these markets, there are many factors that determine the timing of specific market launches.
"We understand this will be disappointing news for our fans in the impacted countries, and we are doing everything we can to bring Xbox One to you as soon as possible next year."