Several major US broadcasters, including ABC, CBS and NBC, are blocking some of their most popular television programmes from being accessible through Google’s new television service.
It means that hit television shows, such as The Office and CSI cannot be viewed through Google TV, a new service from the search giant that makes it easier for people to access on-demand content, scheduled television and the best of the internet through special set-top boxes or enabled TVs. The reasons for the action have not officially been stated, but it is thought that some broadcasters are concerned Google TV will cannibalise existing revenue streams, and could tip the balance of power away from broadcasters and the networks in favour of Google.
“Everybody knows the lock that Google has on internet traffic in terms of advertising,” Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner, told Reuters. “If you take that model and extend it to television, suddenly Google’s power becomes enormous in the advertising space and the broadcasters don’t like that idea.”
All three networks confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that they were blocking content from the platform. None gave a reason for the action. ABC and NBC are still allowing programme trailers to appear on Google TV. Google said the decision about what programming to license to the platform lay solely with content owners.
“Google TV enables access to all the web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owners’ choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform,” said Google in a statement. The search giant’s new service, which is expected to launch in the UK next year, integrates applications and the internet directly into televisions. It brings basic elements such as search or web browsing and goes as far as combining both web and TV simultaneously. Current hardware partners include Logitech for set-top boxes and Sony, who offer TV with Google’s service built-in directly – Telegraph