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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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Business acumen
By BailoutBenny on 11/22/2010 4:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
Any worthwhile business man can tell you -- treating customers with disrespect is the greatest error any business can make.

The ad companies are the customers. The networks are catering to their customers. The ad viewers (us) are the product.

Network shows bring in viewers who will then hopefully be watching the ads that air during a show. This is the model of ad subsidized television.

HBO and other premium services don't have ads because they have subscribers who fund their content. They were forced to innovate and produce shows like The Sopranos because people got tired of watching the same lame movies over and over again.

People who want a la carte programming will have to pay HBO subscription prices per channel if they want the content when it "airs" or pay for netflix to get it 6 months to a year after the content airs, assuming netflix can obtain licenses to the content. HBO et al. may not renew streaming licenses in favor of direct distribution to subscribers. HBO is also owned by Time Warner Cable, who may withold licensing to try and keep cable subscribers.

RE: Business acumen
By rdawise on 11/22/2010 8:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
@BailoutBenny, you are correct, but correct me if I'm wrong but don't they display ads during the online episodes as well?

They can find a way to bombard you with the same amount of ads if they want to. Their ad revenue will find a way. But the fees they charge the Cable companies would take a hit. There's where your problem lies.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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