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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: Net neutrality?
By tmouse on 11/23/2010 10:08:33 AM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt net neutrality has anything to do with this. Whether we like it or not they pay to have the content made. They are starting to use the internet as a distribution system. In doing so they are realizing people do not want ads in the middle of shows like television, so unlike Tv where there is no other way (if you put the ads in the beginning people will have an easier time to by pass them, even with my DVR I sometimes forget and realize I do not have to watch the ads) they can could come up with ways to find demographical viewing information for ad sales instead of buying limited samples from companies like Nielsen. Google plans to do the exact same thing, so that makes them competitors. If you use your computer to access their site they are getting exclusive information, if you use a Google device either the information will not be exclusive or the possibility exists that Google could strip out the information by acting as a middle man, they are the only company with the resources to pull something like that off.


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