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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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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!


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