If you have a Google TV and you navigate to ABC.com, you'll see show info and listings. Click to watch a show, you'll find this message: "The operating system or web browser you're using is not currently supported."
ABC.com, CBS.com and NBC.com are preventing Google TV users from viewing full-length TV shows. None of the three studios are saying anything on the record, but this should not be seen as a surprise.
Hulu, which is co-owned by NBC Universal, News Corp, and Disney, has blocked viewers from accessing full shows on Google TV since soon after the gadget went on sale. (NBC Universal is the parent company of CNBC.)
Those networks aren't blocking GoogleTV users from accessing full length shows through Amazon, which sells episodes, or other apps — they're just not giving access to them on the sites designed for the Internet.
Broadcast networks are understandably uneasy with the idea of eliminating consumers' need for a broadcast signal. After all, that broadcast distribution generates both ad revenue and retransmission fees from cable operators.
Based on conversations with sources close to this complex negotiation, the networks are holding back to figure out what the business model of Google TV can be for them.
The media giants aren't afraid of engaging with Google TV — NBC Universal has a CNBC app on the platform. But it's the broadcast piece that's still up in the air.
Whether or not these nets will eventually make their content available on the new platform depends on a number of things — whether or not there's an authentication model, or perhaps more ad revenue.
Here's Google TV's statement:
"We’re in the early phases of Google TV and already have strong partnerships with Best Buy, Logitech and Sony, among others. We are excited about the opportunities our new platform creates for both established media companies like Turner and HBO, and tens of thousands of content creators large and small.
"Google TV enables access to all the web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owner's choice to restrict users from accessing their content on the platform. "
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