Networks Block Web Shows From Streaming On Google TV

GoogleTV

It looks like Google will have to try harder if it's going to convince top content owners that Google TV is a win-win for everyone.

Late this week, ABC, CBS and NBC began blocking their content from streaming on Google's new Web-TV service.

And despite reports that Google was actively negotiating with the networks, and some of their content was back on Google TV, the issue is far from resolved.

Google had "come to us (and the other nets) long before they launched Google TV to cut a deal," a network source told Online Media Daily on Friday afternoon. "To this point we have not. It's still possible we will."

"We've had discussions with Google ... but like many other content providers we're still evaluating their new platform in regards to other content," NBC Universal said in an official statement released to Online Media Daily on Friday afternoon.

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CBS had no comment regarding Google TV on Friday, and ABC could not be reached for comment by press time. Google could not be reached for comment by press time.

The accepted wisdom is that the networks are wary of Google gaining too much control over their premium online content, and afraid they won't be fairly compensated under any terms.

"I wasn't surprised to learn about the struggles between Google TV and three of the major broadcast networks," said eMarketer analyst Paul Verna. "The two sides seemed like they were on a collision course from the moment the first rumblings about Google TV surfaced."

Presently, Google TV doesn't alter the ads that networks package with their online content. The fear, however, is that it might seek to serve its own ads alongside the content in the future, and not make the move worthwhile for the networks.

Still, analysts seem confident that Web TV is too great an opportunity for the networks to ignore, and that Google is well positioned to meet their demands and revenue expectations.

"I'm optimistic that Google and the networks will eventually come to an agreement," said eMarketer's Verna. "The audience for Web video is too large to ignore, and this audience increasingly expects on-demand access to content across all platforms."

"Further, accessing online video on home TVs is becoming increasingly easy and affordable," Verna added. "The market is ready for a marriage between the computer and the TV, so content owners will have no choice but accommodate this shift."

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