Microsoft, N.Y. fest team for Xbox Live contest

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Microsoft Corp. is partnering with the New York Television Festival for the Xbox Live Originals contest, granting aspiring TV producers the opportunity to create a pilot that could be chosen for the first original series developed specifically for the Xbox Live online gaming and entertainment network.

Microsoft will award the winning entrant a $100,000 budget and an opportunity for a six-episode commitment to air the series on Xbox Live. The pilot episode of the winning series is scheduled to debut in September at the third annual NYTVF, the industry's first showcase for independent television, before being featured exclusively on Xbox Live. This marks the first time that user-created entertainment content will be available worldwide for download exclusively on Xbox Live.

"Not only can aspiring TV producers from across the globe try their hands at creating new TV shows, but because of Xbox Live Marketplace, they can now win a chance to have more than 6 million people worldwide see their work," said Bill Nielsen, senior director of Xbox Live at Microsoft.

Xbox Live is already home to more than 1,500 hours of full-length films and TV series in the U.S. The contest will showcase the user-created content alongside films and TV shows from many of the top networks and studios in the entertainment industry.

"The New York Television Festival has always strived to give artists opportunities to get their voices heard in the industry, and we think that showcasing their work on the Xbox 360 will give our artists unprecedented exposure," NYTVF founder Terence Gray said.

To participate in the Xbox Live Originals contest, entrants must produce and submit a short comedy pilot running between five and 15 minutes. Submissions will be accepted through June 29 from contestants in any of the 25 countries supporting Xbox Live. A group of selected finalists will be shown on Xbox Live Marketplace's VOD service in July, and a winner will be announced at the end of the month.
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