Three major networks block Google TV

October 22, 2010 By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Jessica Guynn

The three major broadcast networks, uneasy about viewers bypassing cable and satellite providers -- and the networks' own websites -- to watch their TV shows, have begun blocking a new service from Google Inc. that is designed to make it easy for people to watch programming online.

ABC, CBS and NBC confirmed that this week they began blocking TV from accessing full-length episodes of prime-time shows such as "NCIS: Los Angeles," "Dancing With the Stars" and "Parks and Recreation," a move aimed at forestalling the technology giant's entry into the living room.

Google TV seeks to marry the Internet with television by allowing viewers to search the Web for shows and then watch them on their TV sets. The technology is designed to make it easier for people to watch TV shows when they want, rather than be at the mercy of network schedules or sift through the Web to find shows on the networks' own websites.

But the networks worry that providing consumers with direct access -- via the Internet -- to popular shows would undercut the economics that support the industry. The networks fear, among other things, that Google TV could disrupt advertising and encourage people to discontinue their cable TV service. pay billions in fees to carry the programming of the networks' co-owned .

Others have cited fears that Google TV would fuel piracy by letting viewers access bootleg streams of TV shows on the Internet.

"Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC," Google said in a statement. "But it is ultimately the content owner's choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform."

Google continues to pursue talks with the networks. It also is in discussions with Hulu about bringing the Plus to the platform -- which would give Google TV users access to full-length episodes of shows from ABC, Fox and NBC.

Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey said that blocking access to network shows on Google TV wouldn't prevent people from watching the shows online because simple workarounds, such as hooking up a laptop to the TV set, can accomplish the same thing.

"This doesn't stop people from watching online content on their televisions," McQuivey said. "It just frustrates them."

Some content providers have sought to work with Google. Time Warner Inc. plans to offer HBO Go -- which allows people who already pay for HBO on cable or satellite to watch shows online -- through Google TV.

Time Warner executives say cable operators historically have done a poor job helping viewers navigate hundreds of channels of TV shows or movies. could fill that niche by expeditiously producing a list of sites where viewers could see their favorite shows.

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4.7 / 5 (15) Oct 22, 2010
I would like to see this headline: "Google blocks ABC, CBS, NBC from its search index. The TV networks are destroyed"
not rated yet Oct 22, 2010
Add Fox channels also or it won't work.
5 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2010
I guess I'll just have to keep going to Chinese servers to get US TV shows.
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 22, 2010
The main stream media death watchâ„¢, continues.
4.6 / 5 (10) Oct 22, 2010
Who still watches TV?
4.5 / 5 (8) Oct 22, 2010
this is silly - just generate an index of your shows plus the mandatory advertisements like on the web sites and offer to stream it to google or just off load the hosting onto google as well... everyone is happy that way... the networks control the access while also controlling the content.

This is a no brainer.

Which begs the brain to think about why the networks wouldn't come to the same conclusion -- and the simplist answer I can think of is the very real fear Google will become a network unto itself gaining advertising monies from all the shows the different networks are providing without the up from cost of production.

either way go google - business models are meant to be broken for more efficient ones based on current technology. If they fight to hard they will go the way of the RIAA and spend millions to stop something i can grab a torrent for 30 secs after its aired anyway in HD on my puter and stream it to my Tv. Catch up or get pirated.
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2010
"This doesn't stop people from watching online content on their televisions," McQuivey said. "It just frustrates them."

I couldn't have said it better.
5 / 5 (9) Oct 22, 2010
let the retards cry, if you need google or apple to help you watch the stream on your flat screen you shouldnt be watching tv should be reading.
5 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2010
People watch TV still? I dont even own a TV.
5 / 5 (8) Oct 22, 2010
It begins. This will be interesting since advertisements are necessary to support T.V. programs and people are continually less willing to watch advertisements. The only solution I see is that T.V. programs will have to lighten their budgets by paying actors a reasonable salary like most people make. Perhaps this will drive the over rated, over payed stars away and welcome in some real talent that is willing to work for reasonable pay considering their job consists of acting, which is pretty low impact and still gets you famous.
5 / 5 (2) Oct 23, 2010
@El_Nose: Remember how long it took for cable tv companies to figure out they could run Internet over the same cable? The USA business brains are slow to understand change/progress.
3 / 5 (2) Oct 23, 2010

Couldn't agree more.

it's why I rarely watch television any more. I watch it, but I'll say I even tend lately to watch either something that is educational, or else watch something low budget.

I hate the idea that actors and atheletes get payed millions, even ten millions per year, or even 10 to 20 million per film, to play "let's pretend," or just be a glorified circus clown.

We could also do away with at least half of these idiotic analysts on every sports show, like ESPN, debating who they think is going to win a game and why. I mean, just shut the hell up and watch the game, besides, they made too much money back when they were an active player or coach. How about get them out of the way and cut the price of the channel some.

I certainly wouldn't mind a hyper-progressive millionaire's tax on circus clowns.
not rated yet Oct 23, 2010
Whoa Whoa Whoa? Did the TV Execs MISS what the Google business model revolves around?? **ADVERTISING** DUH. For those that have an Android phone know that even that "free" Apps are (again) based on ADVERTISING within the App. Wake up people, if there is one thing Google totally kicks ass at, it's incredibly effective advertising.

5 / 5 (1) Oct 23, 2010
The only TV I watch is news related or science/nature based documentaries. I've long stopped watching TV in the traditional sense. The main reason is the networks themselves and their increasingly intrusive and draconian practices which forced me to seek alternatives, ie the internet. These practices include:
* More frequent and longer ads
* Unscheduled dropping of shows (still in production) or switching them to the graveyard slots.
* Shows running overtime (on purpose).
* Emergence of increasingly dumb programming, like 'reality' shows.
* Taking over the screen with obnoxious overlays promoting other programs, sometimes remaining onscreen for the duration of a show. Some station watermarks fall into this category.

I've got no patience for this sort of crap anymore. Also there is a shift in expectations. People today don't want to follow someone's else schedule, they want to watch what they want, when they want, thus the popularity of on-demand services.
5 / 5 (3) Oct 24, 2010
Absolutely agree with above comments; a lot of nails hit right on the head there. "just shut the hell up and watch the game" is a classic. That sums it all up not just sports. About the only thing not mentioned is the oily hypocrisy of the TV companies in their self-praise. TV is near unwatchable for many of us now. Good riddance.
not rated yet Oct 24, 2010
Seems pretty obvious that the future of tv is internet. Production companies need to rework the biz model to survive. More and more shows are doing paid product placement in the shows (Northern Exposure was among the early & most obnoxious offenders). I expect we will see more of this in future if they expect to be able to pay Charlie Sheen any more than what he and his fellows are pulling down.
1.2 / 5 (6) Oct 24, 2010
Its just a geeky minority that dont watch TV. You may not like reality TV shows and find overhyped sports shows beneath you but the fact is that they remain hugely popular. Can anyone provide evidence that people are becoming less willing to watch advertsing? If so then both Google and TV networks have a problem. As much as the neurotics whine about advertising, it still works because people do watch and respond. Contrary to myth most people are comfortable with advertising as it connects them to society. Google is less like a vulture and more like a leech living on the bloody hard work and efforts of others.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 25, 2010
I'm part of the geeky minority. But I do watch TV. I just pay $10 a month for DVR service which is more than worth it to never watch another ad again. I would say anyone who gets a DVR is less willing to watch commercials. Otherwise, why bother paying that money? DVR's are great for recording shows that you just pick once. And for bypassing commercials. If they try to block my DVR, I'll be done with TV too, and just proxy out of china and download everything.
not rated yet Oct 30, 2010
I wonder how long before Google decides to get into content creation business itself, either through acquisition or starting one from scratch.

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