It's almost a clean sweep against Google TV: Now Viacom joins a list of big TV networks blocking the new Internet TV service access to premium TV shows.
Viacom is added to a list including NBC, Fox, ABC and CBS, which have declined to let Google TV act as a new digital TV distributor -- one that would link up Internet access of content to traditional TV sets.
Analysts say this might come as a surprise, given the legal tangle Viacom has had with Google's video site You Tube over freely using its TV shows from its various networks, such as MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Spike.
Traditional TV networks are united in an overarching concern: Google TV wants to put many forms of entertainment content on equal footing with the creation of new video channels, thus adding more competition to traditionally delivered TV programming.
Viacom's executives reportedly have said they watch the development of Google TV for possible future business considerations.
Many TV executives are also nervous that Google TV might siphon away traditional TV viewers to other forms of Internet access -- search, social and interactive. Google -- not traditional media companies -- could benefit by the audience migration, selling search, display, or other forms of advertising.
Earlier this year, Viacom pulled content from Hulu -- whose primary partners include NBC Universal, News Corp. and Walt Disney Co -- after failing to agree on a new distribution agreement.
Google TV has manufacturer deals with Sony, for TV sets and Logitech for TV remotes.
Hindsight is 20/20, but I wonder if Google might have been smarter to fund a third-party company without the Google name. Then they could have waited until it was successful and the next step would be to buy it and rebrand it as Google TV. I suspect (with no real evidence) that the networks primarily balked at the GoogleTV name, because they fear (correctly, probably) that the new "media giants" will not be CBS or Clear Channel, but Google and Facebook.
Google TV is not the only ad exchange/viewing platform to have failed to win the hearts and content of traditional media. From the dot-bomb era to present day, the media landscape is littered with online viewing and advertising tools that failed to monetize well enough to satisfy traditional media companies. The fact is that traditional media content providers such as Broadcast TV networks, Cable TV networks and Radio Stations, all of which spend huge sums to produce their content, feel they need direct relationships with advertisers and their agencies to recoup that investment. One solution is to stay away from long-term sales and help out these content providers with only their unsold inventory in the next week.
Good for the networks. Google should just stick to search and display ads. they will not be able to take over the world. they have no place in TV.
The media (CFR, Illuminati if you like) doesn't want to be put on an equal footing with me. When I can create my own channel without government approval on a given platform, the media will avoid that platform...until they can no longer do so.