Network TV vs. Google TV: The Battle to Bring the Internet to Your TV Set


Between Hulu, bitTorrent, and full episodes on each channel’s websites, network TV’s last carrot to dangle in front of viewers is the size of their TV screens. And as Google is finding out, they’re not letting go. ABC, NBC, and CBS are blocking full episodes of shows like The Office, CSI, and Modern Family from Google TV. Fox and MTV are currently available, but the decision isn’t final. Google’s newly launched service lets viewers connect the Internet to their TV via set-top box, and, starting this month, actual television sets with Google TV baked in. Here’s a video that explains the tiny miracle, but basically you can search for video just like you would on the Internet, except it shows up all cinematic-like on your flat-screen. The networks’ latest move heightens existing tension over how Internet-viewing habits cut into the $80 billion in advertising that pays for those programs. Surprise, surprise, Hulu, the product of a joint venture between NBC, Fox, and ABC is also inaccessible through Google TV, even with a hack.

Hulu previously blocked its content from other set-top boxes, like Boxee, that tried to stream video from the Internet onto your TV. In that case, Boxee was a small New York start-up that invoked sympathy, at least from early adopters. But this time the networks have found an equally vilified impediment to their effort to stay behind the times.

Networks Block Web Programs From Being Viewed on Google TV [WSJ]
Broadcasters Block Google TV But Can’t Stop the Future [NewTeeVee]
Related: TV Industry Joins the Media Club of Being Scared of Google and, in General, the Future