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ABC, NBC, CBS Block Content from Viewers Using Google TV

How is Making Content Less Visible a Good Business Model?

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Not only is Hulu being blocked on Google TV, but so is the content at network sites like ABC, NBC, and CBS. Essentially, the TV stations are just blocking people from watching their content on the web (via their own sites). I’m having a hard time figuring out why this makes sense for a variety of reasons. 

First of all, Google TV is simply providing a web browser for users to access web content on their TVs. With regard to the content, it’s no different than if you were to hook up your computer to your TV and go to these stations’ sites. 

How is making it harder for customers to access your content a good business model? Somebody please tell me

Second, the networks are just going to drive Google TV users (and possibly others simply out of spite) to access their content from some other site that is streaming it without permission or to download pirated copies of shows. 

What’s Google think about it? 

"Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owners’ choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform," a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. 

Here’s another interesting sample from that WSJ article:

Some TV executives said they were worried their shows would be lost in the larger Internet. Some, including Disney and NBC, were also concerned about Google’s stance on websites that offer pirated content, according to people familiar with their thinking.

So just blocking the content from the real source must be the solution right? 

Will the networks start blocking Chrome users too? Really, they already are to some extent, as Google TV  uses Chrome for its web browser (albeit a limited version). Maybe they’ll block Firefox users. What about IE? Microsoft also has Bing, which could drive people right to the network sites too…even on a TV!

Seriously, why have content on the sites at all? 

Who wins as a result of the networks doing this?

Of course Google doesn’t win (which I’m guessing is the point), because they have a new product that is potentially game-changing and now they’re trying to sell it, but users can’t access the shows they want directly from these networks on the web, and that’s not going to help sales. I don’t see how the networks win, because they’re alienating viewers and driving them to alternative sources or alternative programming altogether. Obviously the consumers don’t win, because they’re simply inconvenienced into having to find said alternatives, after paying the money for Google TV, expecting the entire web at their finger tips, as advertised. 

More Views for Online Video Providers

Online video content providers could actually gain some viewers from this. If the major networks don’t want the viewers, there are a lot of people craving audiences out there, that will happily take them. A lot of them still have DVRs, so they can still record shows from the networks and watch them whenever they want, while fast forwarding through the ads (which they wouldn’t be able to do watching the shows online). 

Instead of blocking access, perhaps the networks should be more worried about providing better content to compete with the rest of the web. They are already in the best position to do so, financially, and from a brand perspective. 

ABC, NBC, CBS Block Content from Viewers Using Google TV
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  • Consumer

    If I can’t find the show I want to watch on a network site because they have taken it off, I simply look for it on another streaming site, commercial free.

    You would think the networks would put everything online with commercials and embrace internet TV’s.

    • Chris Crum

      I’m quite sure you won’t be the only one. I really don’t get it.

  • http://aWiserStart.com Rey Tamayo

    It is a matter of a few days when someone gets upset to have someone write some code to not ID the service as Google TV and be able to watch it!!!! It can’t be such a big deal to do. this is another battle the censors cannot win as the music industry did not win. I see soooh many music stores closing and although not spoken about there are plenty of places to get free music so while many good people still pay for it and the industry has gon dark on the subject, it is still being done just quietly because they could not win and neither can these people. But this is an easier thing to go around and just like the Tivo hacks to skip over TV ads they will come!

    These people are scared of the new technology instead of finding their space in it. Incredible how closed minded they are. The way I see it, more opportunities for those ready to move to the next step and as the next step is getting so much easier to do, then the powers that be should be scared because it does not thake oodles of money to do media anymore.

  • Guest

    Its all about advertising… Google is trying to compete with the TV companies in attacting ad dollars. Network company content delivered by Internet is not geo-targetted for local markets and does not have the sign up from advertisers that regular TV has.

    In short: the Networks and advertisers are slow to adapt to this new business model. The GoogleTV, AppleTV, and other streaming medium will pay the price for pioneering this field.

  • http://ericschmidtgoogle.blogspot.com/ Eric S.

    I am infuriated that they are blocking their content, however, being the big are the big dogs on the block, and Youtube rules the tv internet anyways, even if it is just a bunch of lame home videos with face-making hamsters and finger biting babies. We will make Google TV happen, or else we may just block people from getting Youtube on networks like CBS, NBC, etc…. We will not be stopped–we have unlimited bandwidth.

  • Geena

    I honestly do not comprehend such biased ignorance from a television stations and their executives. I have even tried watching ABC shows off their website and we are blocked from any viewing. You can only view if you log in through your Provider. RIDICULOUS game playing. Watch their viewership plunge. The muppets!