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Viacom has banned Google TV from accessing its episode's stations with nary an explanation.  (Source: Engadget)
Google isn't getting much love from the television industry

Google TV seems on a roll.  Powered by Android, the specialized software has already popped up in Sony's new Internet TV hardware and should be showing up in Samsung sets early next year as well.  

Standing in its way is a bizarre blockade from the television industry that appears to be taking its frustrations on internet video out against the new platform.  ABC, NBC, CBS, and most recently FOX have banned the platform from accessing their television websites.  And now Viacom, who recently lost a long and protracted court war with Google web-video subsidiary YouTube over piracy, has joined the merry band of banners.

Customers visiting the websites of MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon were rudely greeted with denials when trying to access TV episodes via their Android-powered internet TVs.

The decision to ban Google's TV platform seems baffling.  Customers could simply step a few feet to their computer and access the episodes.  And why did the networks put the episodes up in the first place if they didn't want them to be viewed?  The question hot on the minds of many -- why are networks pulling such a seemingly illogical and glaringly anti-customer move?  

At the end of the day it likely has some sort of vague basis in reality -- perhaps television providers are fearful of customers switching from viewing live TV to online episodes, which reportedly earn less ad revenue.  However, the boat seems to have already sailed on this front and the TV networks help cast it off, in fact, by putting legal episodes for their most popular shows up online.

Ultimately, the move will likely accomplish exactly what the networks least want -- driving more customers away to piracy and web video.

At the end of the day what seems particularly egregious is the fact that none of the networks will even talk about their decision to block the device.  Customers deserve an explanation, but networks seem determined not give them one.  Any worthwhile business man can tell you -- treating customers with disrespect is the greatest error any business can make.



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The explanation...
By xpax on 11/22/2010 12:36:03 PM , Rating: 5
... is simple. The big TV networks don't mind giving you the shows on your PC, where most people don't want to watch them. On the TV in your living room without a cable company raping you from behind? Uh, no. No can do. Sorry, that'd be convenient and then our big cable partners wouldn't be able to continue posting record profits.




RE: The explanation...
By zelachang on 11/22/2010 12:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
It seems like more and more people are just using laptops now though, and those laptops generally have HDMI outputs making it a simple 5 dollar cable to watch internet shows on TV. If internet TV really is the future, I doubt that banning streams to googleTV is really going to change much.


RE: The explanation...
By xpax on 11/22/2010 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
For a great many people that solution is too complicated. Plus the navigation and usability of this setup isn't anywhere near the simplicity of Google TV. They want something as simple as their cable box, without the cable.

Myself, I haven't had cable for years and just download TV content and use a custom-built interface for watching it.


RE: The explanation...
By Samus on 11/23/2010 1:56:10 AM , Rating: 1
I'd also like to note (like anybody doesn't realize this already) that Comcast has the worst customer satisfaction of any currently-operating privately held company OR government agency in the United States.

But what may shock people, is that their "official" response to critics is that they don't even give a shit!


RE: The explanation...
By sprockkets on 11/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: The explanation...
By rdawise on 11/22/2010 8:13:29 PM , Rating: 3
@xpax you are right on the money.

These companies have deals with Cable companies. They get a piece of the pie when you pay your cable bill. If Google TV catches on, their fear is that they can no longer screw you through you cable tv bill (thus can no longer hold Cable companies hostage). These companies could make a deal with Google, but fear their product would be "undervalued" which is crap-talk for the customer would actually pay a reasonable price. It's a fear change (RIAA) coupled with technological bias-ness. In other words BS!


RE: The explanation...
By Solandri on 11/22/2010 8:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
The crazy thing is that IP-based TV would give the media companies exact and instantaneous marketing figures on how many people are watching what. Right now they have to rely on Nielson ratings (Nielson uses a combination of devices attached to cable boxes and paper surveys). Those ratings are essential to setting prices for the ads broadcast during shows.

But Nielson is a known risk to the media companies. Google TV is an unknown. So they're hiding their head in the sand and sticking with the known.


RE: The explanation...
By TheRequiem on 11/22/2010 9:24:51 PM , Rating: 3
It's funny, I just canceled my Cable TV today... I am charged $87 a month for 3 shows that I watched every week. I now use Netflix and Hulu Plua on my PS3 for the same thig, in HD, for $16 a month. As soon as I saw Netflix switch to a $7.99 streaming only option, that was it for me. I can watch Netflix already on my Tablet, TV and Cell Phone, and hell, more to come from what I can see. It makes sense to me. However, I still am using high-speed internet from Cox, so all I did was increase the speed to their highest rating. A mere $13 more and twice as fast.

I see and hear a lot of people switching to Internet TV. The only thing I can imagine cable partners doing now is offering channels by group and having consumers in the future only pay for what they want to see. It's their only hope, because it's catching on.


RE: The explanation...
By maveric7911 on 11/22/2010 10:21:07 PM , Rating: 1
Not to call BS..... but your not paying 20 some dollars a month for the highest speed cable on COX. However quite bluntly that's a load of BS. I hate paying a ton for cable and internet too, but once you add in all your subscriptions and the real price of your cable you are no where near what you say your paying right now.


RE: The explanation...
By Boze on 11/23/2010 1:32:53 AM , Rating: 2
He never said he was paying $20 a month... he said he was paying "$13 more for the highest speed".

He's paying:
x + $13, where x = some unknown amount.

I don't think there's anything unreasonable about what he's saying.


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