Once there were only three networks in America: ABC, NBC, and CBS. Then came cable and the rise of Fox. Now TV is set to take another turn with the rise of Google TV, and the Big Three, the original networks that once dominated the tv-scape, are fighting back to maintain their position. Google TV isn’t producing content. It’s simply exploiting their content. So while they are still locked in negotiations with Google about airing their shows on the new platform, they have blocked their shows from being viewable on Google TV, while Fox is considering following their lead. The decision has even greater implications because ABC is owned by Disney, another potential content partner for Google.

The decision to block shows was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp—which also owns Fox. The language in the report gives some level of the tension between the content providers and the platform Google offers. According to the article, “The move marks an escalation in ongoing disputes between Google and some media companies, which are skeptical that Google can provide a business model that would compensate them for potentially cannibalizing existing broadcast businesses.” These content manufacturers are already contending with the ease in which their shows can be pirated and posted online, then searched for by Google and watched on Google-owned Youtube.

On the other hand, some other networks have already embraced Google TV and the potential it offers to get their shows to a larger audience. HBO and Turner Broadcasting have already reached deals with Google,  and even some networks owned by the larger broadcasting parent companies have made their shows available to Google TV, among them the CW, which is owned in part by CBS.

Google is taking a conciliatory tone with the networks, saying that, “It is ultimately the content owners’ choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform.
Read More at the Business Journal.
Read More at the Wall Street Journal.