The patent application, which was filed last November and spotted by GamesIndustry International, reads: "Television viewing tends to be a passive experience for a viewer, without many opportunities for the viewer to engage or have interactive experiences with the presented content.
"To increase interactive viewing and encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content, awards and achievements may be tied to those items of video content.
"By tying the awards and achievements to particular items of video or advertising content, viewers may be encouraged to increase their viewership of the content, thus increasing advertising opportunities."
Achievements could be dished out for watching a single event such as the Super Bowl or viewing an entire series of a show, it adds.
Potential rewards include new avatar items, virtual money for a game, or even physical prizes.
Achievements could also be tied to viewers performing specific Kinect actions while watching content, Microsoft said.
At Tuesday's Xbox One reveal event, Marc Whitten, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Xbox Live, said that a new version of the online service will be "more powerful, more personal and more intelligent".
The new Xbox Live will offer enhanced cloud functionality, improved matchmaking, new social features, background downloads, skill tracking and an expanded achievements system, Microsoft added.