Three of the biggest broadcasters in the US have blocked some or all shows from Google TV, Google’s new Web TV service, throwing a monkey wrench into the company’s plans to expand from computers to the TV set. Disney and NBC Universal confirmed to Reuters they blocked access to its broadcast TV shows from Google TV. However, NPR says some shows from NBC like “The Office” are not being blocked. MTV and HBO are also not being blocked. CBS has blocked access to full-length episodes of their programs, including shows like “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” according to a the Wall Street Journal.
News Corp’s Fox is also considering blocking access to shows on its Website, but a decision has not yet been made, according to a Reuters story.
Google TV, which became available this month in the US, allows consumers to access Web content on their television screens.
The service, which is built-in to devices from Sony and Logitech (‘Revue”), could open new ad opportunities for Google. But Google’s plans for television may be viewed as a threat by established television businesses, Gartner analyst Van Baker was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Everybody knows the lock that Google has on Internet traffic in terms of advertising. If you take that model and you extend it to the television, suddenly Google’s power becomes enormous in the advertising space and the broadcasters don’t like that idea.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Of course, ad-supported TV is going to want something in exchange for allowing Google TV access to their programming. Google has menaced the radio and print industries, forcing down rates. This is a different approach, however, everyone knows the bottom line is to grab ad dollars. So until something can be figured out, networks will be wary about allowing their programming through. Google TV’s promise of simple, organized access to programming is going to get some people hooked, however, as the technology is already liked.