More evidence that Google may be entering the pay TV market. This, after Google’s FCC application in December for a satellite receiving station license fueled speculation that it may be doing that to bundle Internet and TV services in Kansas City, MO. Sanford C. Bernstein analysts Internet Carlos Kirjner and Craig Moffett said 2/21: “Recent regulatory filings make it a near-certainty that Google will enter the pay TV market in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. We expect Google to file for cable TV franchise licenses in both jurisdictions very soon.”
Moffett said the filings show that Google is looking to test an entry into more traditional pay TV as broadband-delivered video (vs. its YouTube delivery) still has room to develop as a business: “Google’s decision to enter the video market is perhaps best viewed as an experiment in video delivery and package, but perhaps also as an admission that their original proposal of a broadband-only business model is not economically viable.”
As to the FCC application for receive-only satellite stations?: “Importantly, the application states that the receiving stations (which will be adjacent) will be located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which the attentive reader will have noticed is neither in Kansas nor in Missouri…However, Council Bluffs is the home of a large Google datacenter. Once received, the video and audio signals will be processed, stored and distributed in ways that require large amounts of… processing and storage capacity.” he said.