Google Chases Channel Four

    November 2, 2006

Google is raising eyebrows in England with an imminent accomplishment – the search engine giant appears ready to surpass “the UK’s main commercial TV channels” in terms of advertising revenue.

Google’s “2006 UK revenues are expected to surpass Channel Four’s predicted 800m ($1.5bn) returns,” according to the BBC. If you’re not familiar with Channel Four, here is its website, which presents an almost overwhelming amount of links and pictures. There’s also a very extensive article about the company on Wikipedia.

Channel Four seems decidedly unhappy about Google’s approach. The broadcaster’s chief executive, Andy Duncan, warned that it “could soon impact the quality of traditional TV programming.” There’s a real concern “that lower income from the advertisers could mean it won’t be able to generate the funds to pay for high-quality content,” wrote Paul Trotter.

Google’s good fortunes aren’t about to bring down the entire British television industry, though. “The BBC is planning to cash in on the value of its brand by accepting ads on overseas editions of its site,” Trotter continued, although “not many broadcasters are likely to be as successful as the BBC in attracting online revenue.”

A CNET article took a balanced stance by pointing out that it’s just “too early to tell whether advertisers are turning away from television onto the Web, or if they’re supplementing TV ads with online versions.” It suggested, though, that “as the Internet becomes more pervasive, we might abandon our televisions all together, and stream television’ solely over the Internet. Rather than there being any great paradigm shift as advertisers switch from TV to the Web, perhaps the Web will simply turn into TV.”

While that’s just a hypothesis, Google’s rising value is a reality. Channel Four – and then ITV1 – had better look out.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.