Google TV arrived with much fanfare only just last month, and was toted as bringing with it a new TV and multimedia experience.
Part of the attraction is its ability to find and stream network TV shows that provide episodes online, thus, not requiring a separate cable/satellite connection. Nothing illegal, it simply tapped into the web feeds that the networks such as TBS, TNT, CNN, HBO, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim already provide free of charge on their websites.
Viacom however will have none of that, and has taken measures to block Google TV across all of it properties, including Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon. Given the legal tension between the company and Google owned Youtube, it’s actually surprising it took this long to happen.
Users attempting to access the channels are greeted with a, “Sorry, this content is unavailable for your device” error.
Add Viacom to the growing list of networks including Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS that have all taken measures to block Google TV for doing something that any user can already access if they have a mouse in their hand instead of a remote.
As to why the networks are snubbing their noses to Google’s attempt to connect consumers with the TV networks? Well it likely isn’t any more complicated networks feeling they deserve a bigger chunk of the proverbial pie; attempting to force Google to negotiate a licensing and distribution deal.
Fox has attempt to deflect the idea that they are simply in it for the cash, by voicing concern that Google TV may “aggravate piracy”.
With hot holiday consumer electronics, Sony Internet TV and the Logitech Revue featuring Google TV and other products such as the D-Link Boxee Box, all advertising the streaming webisode formula as a major feature, it appears that consumers will be the ones stuck holding lumps of electronic coal while multi-billion dollar companies squabble over who owes who.