Remember when Microsoft couldn't stop dropping names of companies it was partnering up with to bring media to your Xbox 360? Well, days after CES drew to its natural conclusion, Redmond's gaming division is throwing a few more "locally relevant" names out for users in Canada and Germany. If you live in the cold bit to the north of the United States, you can expect to see Astral Media's Disney XD and Real Sports / Maple Leaf Sports rolling up on your console from today, while German gamers will be able to get teutonic mitts on Mediathek/ZDF at the same time. There's more details in the press release after the break, where Microsoft promises that we've not seen the last of its continued entertainment expansions.
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Hot off the heels of CES, Xbox is kicking off 2012 with a growing community of nearly 40 million Xbox LIVE members, new partnerships, entertainment app launches, and exciting momentum heading into the New Year.

Building upon an expansive catalog of live and on-demand TV shows, movies, sports and music and continuing to deliver locally relevant content to Xbox LIVE members around the globe, the following apps will be available* in various regions on Xbox LIVE starting today:

· Astral Media's Disney XD (Astral Media). Canada

· Mediathek/ZDF (ZDF). Germany

· Real Sports (Maple Leaf Sports). Canada

At CES, we also announced a new partnership with News Corporation, and will soon bring FOX broadcast programming, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel and IGN to Xbox LIVE. News Corp. apps are scheduled to launch in 2012, so prepare to watch your favorite FOX shows, including "Family Guy," "House," "New Girl" and "Glee," have access to Dow Jones Newswire and MarketWatch from The Wall Street Journal and enjoy game previews, reviews, gameplay videos from IGN, all on-demand.

In addition, Xbox was recently honored with IMS Research's TV Innovator of the Year award, which is given to the most innovative product in a group of 14 contenders. The list of all 14 winners, as well as the full press release, can be found here.

Lastly, we'd like to share our most recent stats that illustrate the excitement around Xbox 360 becoming more personal, engaging and social through Xbox LIVE:

· The hours of video consumed globally on Xbox LIVE increased 140 percent from 2010 to 2011.

· In December more than 60 percent of U.S. Xbox LIVE Gold members used entertainment apps on Xbox LIVE – for an average of an hour a day each.

· The number of people using entertainment apps on Xbox LIVE increased by nearly 50 percent globally from November to December.

We are committed to enhancing and expanding our global entertainment offerings on Xbox LIVE in 2012. Moving forward, you can expect to see more of the world's leading entertainment providers coming to Xbox and a continued rollout of additional entertainment apps.