Print 43 comment(s) - last by Raiders12.. on Oct 25 at 8:15 AM

Some television networks have banned Google TV from accessing their online episodes out of piracy frustrations. Will customers simply move on to more open networks?  (Source: Reuters)
Fox and MTV Networks haven't blocked their content yet

Your plans to watch those missed new episodes of Chuck on your shiny new Google TV may have to be put on hold.  ABC, NBC, and CBS have all blocked Sony's new HDTVs that pack Google TV from accessing their treasure trove of online episodes that are accessible from the PC for free.

ABC, owned by Walt Disney Co., and NBC, a unit of General Electric's NBC Universal, both still allow the Google TVs to access free teaser clips.  CBS, a part of CBS Corp., does not appear to even allow access to teaser clips.

Other television providers have clearly come out in support of Google.  Among those who provide Google TVs with optimize content include Time Warner Inc.'s HBO, Turner Broadcasting networks, and -- ironically -- NBC Universal's CNBC.

Still other providers like MTV Networks and Fox, a piece of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire, remain on the fence with content still accessible, but no official endorsement has been announced yet.  A Fox spokesperson is quoted by 
The Wall Street Journal as saying, "A firm decision has not yet been reached."

It appears that ABC, NBC, and CBS are blocking Google TV both out of fear that they'll draw less ad revenue from the online episodes, and out of anger at Google's unwillingness to apply filtering to its internet search results.  Google TV says it has "optimized" its built in search to show legal episodes first, though illegally uploaded episodes may still pop up.

The internet firm has long clashed with networks on the topic of piracy.  Viacom, owners of Comedy Central and other television channels hoped to spearhead the issue bringing a blockbuster suit against Google.  That suit ended in disaster for Viacom when Google exposed that Viacom employees had been secretly uploading video clips to YouTube under fake usernames, seeking to incriminate Google.  The case was quickly dismissed after that revelation.

A Google spokesperson delivered a tersely worded response on the topic to 
Reuters, commenting, "[Google TV] enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owner's choice to restrict users from accessing their content on the platform."

Despite its frustrations, the largest internet company in the world says that it is continuing to actively negotiate with the networks to try to restore the content.

Ultimately Google's official statement seems apt -- the biggest losers in this mess are the customers.  And the blocking networks have plenty of cause for concern.  If Google TV gains enough traction, they may find viewers switching to watch TV episodes on more open networks like Fox (assuming Fox doesn't decide that it wants to block too, of course).

Google TV is a specialized version of Android OS optimized to run on Intel's new consumer electronics hardware.  The hardware and OS can be incorporated into Blu-Ray players, or directly into flat-screen TVs.  Past internet-access options relied on an extra set-top box.  

Google makes no money directly from televisions sold with Google TV.  However, it does gain ad revenue from ads that are served when the user searches for content.  It also is using the OS to help funnel more traffic to its property YouTube, which is currently the web's most-visited source of video.

The platform is open to any TV product manufacturer, but thus far only Sony has embraced the operating system.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Pirated Materials
By nolisi on 10/22/2010 12:08:29 PM , Rating: 2
There is absolutely no reason Google needs to ship GoogleTV with this functionality. If they have a way to filter legal content to the top, then it should be easy to filter out illegal content in general.

I can see a certain logic behind not filtering out the content. What if the filtering mechanism mistakenly filters legal content? What if there are no legal options for certain content?

All in all it comes down to user choice. The market seems intent on diminishing the choices that users have, whereas Google allows you to make the decision yourself.

RE: Pirated Materials
By omnicronx on 10/22/2010 12:57:47 PM , Rating: 2
I can see a certain logic behind not filtering out the content. What if the filtering mechanism mistakenly filters legal content? What if there are no legal options for certain content?
Quite frankly that is Google's problem, I'd be quite happy if I could access all the legal sources of content i.e Hulu, or direct from NBC/FOX/ABC etc, with ability and then leave it up to 3rd party developers to add the functionality to do anything else.

Otherwise Google along with the distributors are selling consumer devices meant for media consumption. The fact that Google chooses to leverage its search engine is irrelevant, in the end its a device meant for media consumption, and as such the device does not fall under the same rules as the basic Google search engine on your desktop or phone.

Its just not the same as undescriminantly showing all search results in Google web searches in which they do not directly make money from the search results.

With GoogleTV, its a consumer device that manufacturers are making money from, Google/the manufacturers will see a direct impact from this content.

Seems like an incredibly stupid move on Googles part, as without content, you are doomed to failure. Its not going to reach mass market on illegal content alone.

They should have left it up to third party devs to allow such content period! That would keep them out of hot water, but keep others who want access to whatever they want happy.

RE: Pirated Materials
By SlyNine on 10/23/2010 4:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
What about legal content that is not offered by those sources. If google is blocking everything that is not "offical" then those get blocked to.

Google could also be making it easier for people to create content without these stations, like internet TV shows.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

Most Popular ArticlesAMD, Zen Processor might power the upcoming Apple MacBook Pro
September 30, 2016, 5:00 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Are you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Apple’s Siri Speaker is a Game Changer
September 26, 2016, 5:00 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki