Major networks block Google TV

Google hasn't had a very easy year, and it isn't about to get any easier. Google's brand new Google TV is already under heavy scrutiny by not only consumers, but now major networks are targeting Google TV.

ABC, CBS and NBC are all blocking TV programming from being streamed on Google TV, according to The Wall Street Journal. In a move that could potentially hurt Google TV, major networks are beginning to block Google TV owners from streaming their online content. Fox is also among the names of other networks that are in discussion to block Google TV viewers.

Although the online TV episodes are free-to-view on the networks website, they have begun preventing Google TV owners from viewing episodes from their set-top box.

Popular shows like The Office from NBC, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from CBS and Modern Family from ABC all can't be viewed on Google TV.

However, Google is well aware of the situation and is currently in talks with the networks to unblock access to their content, according to Reuters.

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45 Comments

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You guys don't understand, do y'all? Networks get paid more money from advertizing through the television than they do through the web. Because companies that pay for ads realize they get more views and recognition from a larger TV screen, than they do thru people viewing a smaller computer screen with people who might have ad block or change to a different window to avoid viewing it.

So Google TV putting the networks' web episodes on a big TV screen undermines the value of what their ads are worth, and they'd rather you watch it OTA or cable, than the web to ensure they get the most out of their ad funding.

wow, between apple and google, we have two huge companies spending millions of dollars to duplicate the functionality of bittorrent + rss

I'm willing to bet they're not only trying to protect advertising royalties but don't want Google knowing so much about user viewing metrics on non google sites. For example if Google TV reached critical mass they would know more about the consumers viewing habits than the networks who are producing & playing the content..

I'll just continue to pirate my shows. Then I don't have to deal with this nonsense. Just give people what they want!

Doesnt bother me too much. I have the sony blu-ray google tv. The lack of hulu and the network websites doesnt bother me.

I actually use the web portion to do things like read neowin and reddit when commercials come on . Its also awesome for netflix. I have this google tv box and a new apple tv and the google box streamed the princess and the frog with no issues at all and the apple tv stuttered about 10 times on futurama. All last night

Plus with the android store coming out and rooting already being worked on i see no problems with it.


PS the gogole tv boxes are essentially nettops. they have intel atom processors and 1 gig ram

It doesn't make any sense at all to be doing this. These channels are all broadcasting completely unencrypted over the air for free. Not only that, people with just a regular dvr will record the shows and skip all advertisements anyways. Streaming content is actually the best way to guarantee that people have to watch an ad or 2. Not allowing streaming devices to access shows is just plain stupid on their part. Like someone else said, they are just pushing people towards downloading the episodes by other means.

I guess Google is running into the same problems that Apple TV has run into. But it would at least seem as if Google announced the feature assuming that the networks wouldn't have a problem with it. And now that they do, Google has to go to them and make a deal happen. If Apple, who has a much larger customer base, couldn't get a subscription model from the networks, I don't see how Google is going to get them to be ok with featuring their free content on Google TV so Google can sell hardware. Google is gonna have to give them a pretty big carrot to get this to work.

Thom said,
Well then I'll happily turn to illegal downloading, the only choice they're offering. Thanks idiots.

How is it the only choice they're offering? Were you using Google TV?

Thom said,
Well then I'll happily turn to illegal downloading, the only choice they're offering. Thanks idiots.

Uh, Go to their website and watch it? Another Duh.

Manish said,

How is it the only choice they're offering? Were you using Google TV?

No, my point is these TV people just care about money but stupid copyright restrictions and other smallprint laws that they seem to love do little but stand in the way of progress.

Thom said,

No, my point is these TV people just care about money but stupid copyright restrictions and other smallprint laws that they seem to love do little but stand in the way of progress.


Agreed! They should pattern their ad revenue model after the movie producers. Embed the products that you are trying to sell to the consumer within the production sets. If you are selling an apple mac book pro, let the viewer see the actor actually USING the apple mac book pro, DRINKING a coca cola, and WEARING gucci. The actress could actually APPLY her covergirl cosmetics while naturally doing any number of things....gossiping with a gilfriend? This could mean additional revenue!

Why are they doing this?

What's the difference for them between using Google TV to watch the shows compared to watching them on your TV via a laptop and HDMI cable?

Someone please explain, because I sure don't get it.

Manish said,
Less visitors to their site = less advertising revenue?

did you read all the comments above....... it's not less visitor to there website cause the tv use chrome to go to the website and stream the content on the same website that you visit with your computer. So the ads are there, they are unblocked and they do get the revenue.

Pauleh said,
What is it with networks trying to control their customers?

Uhhh, not really. Just watch them on normal TV like you do now or go to their websites. The networks are the ones who pay for the shows you wanna watch, google is trying to get in on a free ride it seems, screw that I say. If I'm some studio who's making and paying for these shows out of my pocket I sure as hell better get paid something in the end.

GP007 said,

Uhhh, not really. Just watch them on normal TV like you do now or go to their websites. The networks are the ones who pay for the shows you wanna watch, google is trying to get in on a free ride it seems, screw that I say. If I'm some studio who's making and paying for these shows out of my pocket I sure as hell better get paid something in the end.

I think that there is not a lot of people here that understands that people DO go to the website ON they Google TV to watch the shows, using Chrome. It's a web browser, just like the one you use on your computer or smartphone. There is no skipping the ads or blocking the ads here. They get the money from there ads like they should.

Quick Shot said,
Would it have something to do with them wanting google paying royalties?

It all leads to one thing.......$

IT has nothing to do with that. the chrome browser in the google tv is your ful lfledged pc browser.

Heck a google tv box really is a nettop. has an atom processor and 1 gig ram.

Lack of advertisement revenue, maybe.
Hard to judge when it means taking money away.

The other side of this coin is stuff like VCRs and Tivo.
No-one is stopping me from "taping" the shows and just
fast-forwarding through the commercials.

McCordRm said,
Lack of advertisement revenue, maybe.
Hard to judge when it means taking money away.

The other side of this coin is stuff like VCRs and Tivo.
No-one is stopping me from "taping" the shows and just
fast-forwarding through the commercials.

Ah but you see they have to go the legislative route to stop offline devices like vcrs, dvdrs, and TiVos (and they have)--but this is just asking the techs to play with the software, so it's much easier to block-first, cave later.

Morons. they don't mind you watching the programmes for free on their websites through your computers, but they hate it if you try to do it through a set-top box?

MightyJordan said,
Morons. they don't mind you watching the programmes for free on their websites through your computers, but they hate it if you try to do it through a set-top box?
Does Google TV allow users to record off the website? If so, that is what the networks are afraid of. That would mean a huge % loss of advertising revenue for the networks.

Jebadiah said,
Does Google TV allow users to record off the website? If so, that is what the networks are afraid of. That would mean a huge % loss of advertising revenue for the networks.

I don't think they allow. AFAIK, they don't allow you to save YouTube videos, so I assume it would apply to this as well.

If the networks are concerned about loss of advertising revenue, then why not allow Google TV users to stream the programs, and just add an extra ad or two?

MightyJordan said,
Morons. they don't mind you watching the programmes for free on their websites through your computers, but they hate it if you try to do it through a set-top box?

Thats like saying Neowin doesnt mind if I read their forums for free but if i forwarded all the content to my website and got money for advertising i am pretty sure Neowin would not be to happy about it..

Jebadiah said,
Does Google TV allow users to record off the website? If so, that is what the networks are afraid of. That would mean a huge % loss of advertising revenue for the networks.

No, Google TV by itself doesn't support recording.

MightyJordan said,
Morons. they don't mind you watching the programmes for free on their websites through your computers, but they hate it if you try to do it through a set-top box?

Maybe because they want consumers to go to thier website? Why give it away for free? Morons? Duh.

[quote=speedstr3789 said,]
Maybe because they want consumers to go to thier website? Why give it away for free? Morons? Google TV is a browser... so you go to their website...

Jebadiah said,
Does Google TV allow users to record off the website? If so, that is what the networks are afraid of. That would mean a huge % loss of advertising revenue for the networks.

Have these networks blocked access from tivo? the device that can record TV and fast forward it?

MightyJordan said,
Morons. they don't mind you watching the programmes for free on their websites through your computers, but they hate it if you try to do it through a set-top box?

The TV Shows are free because of the ads displayed by the website. Google TV will steal that opportunity for them.

MightyJordan said,

I don't think they allow. AFAIK, they don't allow you to save YouTube videos, so I assume it would apply to this as well.

If the networks are concerned about loss of advertising revenue, then why not allow Google TV users to stream the programs, and just add an extra ad or two?

all those networks would be sued till they were broke by all the other providers that they make pay for their content.

stablemist said,

Have these networks blocked access from tivo? the device that can record TV and fast forward it?

Is that actually possible?

thenonhacker said,

The TV Shows are free because of the ads displayed by the website. Google TV will steal that opportunity for them.


Not 100% related to this particular issue, but in a more general manner I think companies should be cautious about this approach. With more and more users blocking ads, enforcing a scheme to channel users through your website when many of those users block ads only increases your bandwidth expenses and does not bring ad-clicks.

coch said,

Not 100% related to this particular issue, but in a more general manner I think companies should be cautious about this approach. With more and more users blocking ads, enforcing a scheme to channel users through your website when many of those users block ads only increases your bandwidth expenses and does not bring ad-clicks.

Thats why the ad's are built into the video player and as well as the ones on the site itself. Sure you can block random ads on the side of the site but you have to sit through the 15-30 second ads that appear like commercials in the player.