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Networks block Web shows from Google TV


Networks ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking Google TV viewers from its Web-based shows, according to Google, in a move that raises questions about how federal regulators should oversee the nascent but fast-growing market for Internet television.

"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 their fans from accessing their content on the platform," Google said.

Google confirmed that it is in negotiations with those companies to deliver the Web versions of their shows. Logitech and Sony televisions carry Google's Internet television services, which is being sold by Best Buy.

The action, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is sure to draw criticism from public interest groups and some federal regulators who have criticized a similar move by Fox in its fees battle with Cablevision. Last weekend, News Corp. blocked Cablevision's Internet customers from accessing Fox shows on Fox.com and Hulu.com, which it partly owns. The companies have been in a six-day stalemate over fees to retransmit Fox to Cablevision television subscribers.

Networks and movie studios have been reluctant to allow the Web-based versions of their shows to appear on new video distributors such as Google, which don't offer the same amount of advertising and subscription fees they have been getting from cable and satellite firms, analysts say.

But that is changing. Netflix has struck new deals with NBC Universal and Epix for Lionsgate and Paramount films. Hulu.com, however, has said it may go to a subscription model because it isn't making enough money from advertising to support its site.

According to Reuters, News Corp's Fox is also considering blocking access to shows on its Web site, but a decision has not yet been made, a source familiar with the matter said.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) were among federal officials who criticized a similar decision by News Corp. to block content as a violation of open-Internet guidelines at the FCC that say consumers should have access to the content of their choice on the Web.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Rebecca Arbogast said in a note earlier this week that such episodes will garner continued concern by lawmakers and FCC officials. The FCC has asked Comcast and NBC Universal about how its merger would impact the distribution of online videos as the biggest broadband provider and a major content firm combine.

"While the issue is analytically distinct from network neutrality, it could reinforce increased scrutiny of Internet video issues, including in the content of the Comcast/NBC Universal review," she wrote.

By Cecilia Kang  | October 22, 2010; 12:30 AM ET
Categories:  Consumers, FCC, Google, Media, Online Video  
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Comments

Net Neutrality Seems To End Up Meaning, Nobody Gets Any Content At ALL. This Week Foxs' Sunday Line Up of Cartoons Isn't Even Mentioned in Show Providers Lineup. CBS Katie Curric Is On Again, Off Again.

Seems Freedom of Speech No Longer Exists, Havre to see shows At Normal Broadcast time or Forget Them. Narrow Selected Band of Shows is Affected Right Now. Not Hard To Wonder About South Park & some shows Are in Dispute, yet Once Held Back By Mature Themed Show, Other Shows Will hen Fall into Artis: Non Gratis.
Not To Point Finger At:F.C.C., Yet Basic Desire To Charge For Content Originates From High Up In Government for Long time. Well, Those Shows Are Then More Limited, Net Neutrality Wsa Never Offically Implemented, Before Discarded, So NOT Legal To Stop Signals From Transmitting.

Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.

Posted by: thomasxstewart1 | October 22, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Opps, Went to Fox Simpsons Website & apparently Sundays Cartoon Shows Where Not Aired This Sunday & Until Nov, Have to Wait For New Episodes. South Park & cbs Eveing News Is Having troubles getting internet signal out, though..

Signed: Your friend TSVD

Posted by: thomasxstewart1 | October 22, 2010 1:57 AM | Report abuse

I could not care less. I have not watched a network TV show since last christmas. I haven't turned my TV on since the Caps were booted out of the playoffs last year. And frankly, I don't miss television one darn bit.

I can access any thing that I want to view via the web and companies like Fox, NBC Universal, ABC/Disney, CBS/Viacom can keep their shows to themselves, thank you very much. It's mostly insulting trash talk and who needs it.

Good riddance.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | October 22, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

It seems that a combination of free OTA (over the air) TV and Internet-only content (think YouTube), with a dash or two of Netflix, is the best recipe for home entertainment today.

The cable companies want more money than their offerings are worth. Faux and others are part of the reason for this; they apparently don't like people to watch their stuff through cable instead of over the airwaves. Whatever. I'm tired of being a pawn in these greedheads' domination games.

And sports - I live within 75 miles of Tampa, FL, where the economy is in the toilet and our local NFL team is unable to sell out home games. So no home-team football for us. It's one of our many punishments for being poor. Except... there are many ways to watch Bucs home games illegally.

In deference to the NFL's wishes, I have weaned myself from a moderate football habit. It was easier than giving up cigarettes.

Now I need to wean my wife from some of her favorite cable-only TV shows. Won't be hard...

Posted by: roblimo | October 22, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

=======
=======
There couldn't be a clearer example of "market failure". That's when greed-based capitalism causes the best solutions to be shelved and self-defeating, grotesquely inefficient solutions are used instead. Did you notice that the LAST thing either side thinks of is "what's best for the customers?". That kind of thinking comes off as astoundingly silly, yet it SHOULD be the goal of the system.

Toll roads are a good example of market failure. You have to hire toll-takers, stop traffic every few miles, and it costs vastly more by definition, or else the rich investors wouldn't make a profit. It would be cheaper, safer, and faster to just build roads and drive on them, but "Liberty" means not paying your taxes.

Health care is even a better example. Canadians pay HALF what we do for better care, and nobody is canceled when they get sick. But here, even after reform, we have to let the insurance companies grab billions though they provide exactly NO service to anyone but themselves.

Doing it cheaper and better is called "socialism", but the rich used that word to frighten the herd of goobers and jethros into shouting it down.

The best example of all happens every single time the 'piglicans run the government. They borrow billions from China instead of paying their taxes and deregulate greed which, like night follows day, crashes the economy, Then they grab more billions from the rest of us to bail them out of the nest they fouled.

Oh, and I have a fatal disease that's easily curable with a few shots. But I'll die soon because the drug company wants about $20,000 for something it costs them $1.50 to make.

Who cares though? "If she's going to die, let her do it and decrease the surplus population". That's called "Liberty".

Civilized countries like Canada and Europe (but not us) are amazed that we make such obviously bad decisions over and over. They literally think were insane. But they're wrong. Never attribute to insanity anything that can be explained by stupidity.

The invisible hand of the market punches us all in the face, and nobody seems to notice because it happens every single day.

While I sit naked in a cave in the woods, using stolen electricity and waiting to die.

--faye kane, crazy homeless bumstress
http://tinyurl.com/fayescave

Posted by: Knee_Cheese_Zarathustra | October 22, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Year after year, the number of people watching television on a TV is dropping. Surveys have shown that 18-34 year olds are bailing on cable TV subscriptions and relying on Netflix and web-based content. Why would a dying industry want to make it harder for a declining number of viewers to watch their shows? Doesn't make any sense to me. But I guess that's what happens when you have dinosaurs running the entertainment industry and they feel threatened by change - they stick their heads in the sands and hope it all goes away. With that kind of attitude, they will see their business die, ala Blockbuster.

Do they not realize that TV shows are not an absolute necessity? That young people have alot more options for entertainment now than they had in the past? That withholding their crappy TV shows from viewers just makes viewers forget about the show and makes them find other things to do?

Posted by: josetucson | October 22, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

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Smful short_t-shirt_woman $15

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Posted by: jfdis0afdas | October 22, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

We are nearing the endgame here, but this is ridiculous! They are blocking content from certain kinds of computers. It would be similar NBC trying to block content from being delivered to Apple computers. All network devices are cloakable, particularly on the web. A user agent switcher for the product probably already exists...

Posted by: staticvars | October 22, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse


Now, if we could get Newscorp to block their cable, satellite and broadcast capabilities, things would be much better in the United States.


Posted by: mortified469 | October 22, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

As someone else mentioned already, I don't tune in to Network TV anymore either. It's all just a barrage of advertising followed by spurts of insanely pretty people doing and saying things that real people wouldn't do or say.
If I want news I have it much faster using my PC's and without the commercials. And if I want a movie, I have my Roku and a Netflix account. Network Television has no vision these days, and their idea of what we want is skewed beyond hope.

Posted by: realneil | October 22, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Nothing is more frustrating to we Canadians than to see "this video is not available in your geographic area". The networks promote being able to watch episodes on their sites, but then block content to just us. Are we not good enough? Do we not spend our money our your advertisers' products? Why the insult? It's high time for a truly "open" access subscription based system. Come on, Netflix. You have the technology. Here in Canada we're stuck with "On Demand" services, which are pathetic, or forced to schedule our lives around cable programming, or simply not watch at all. No wonder networks are failing. Get with the times people and listen to your audience.

Posted by: panamacanuck | October 22, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Buggy whips all around to the Networks. Come on, guys, do some deals with those pesky internety sites and get your shows there. Some of us have already given up cable and satellite. I can get Mad Men from Netflix, and if I have to wait a year or 2, I'm OK with that. I mean, watching The Sopranos all at once was great. I didn't have to wait years for each season. There are advantages. Look, it's the 21st Century now, and things are changing. Get on board your buggy and ride it into the future.

Posted by: avlisk | October 22, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Google wants FREE access to programming while making money off ads... google has overstayed it's welcome.

Google reminds me of that old Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man"

If you don't know the reference, google it.

Posted by: kkrimmer | October 22, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Cutting off ones nose to spite your face is not the most intelligent thing to do, but the FCC should not stop the fakes network from doing so.

Search for 'coat hanger antenna' on youtube and you'll find many good designs. I suggest the "improved" model. I built a couple of them for less than $10 and they work great. I got Baluns for $2 at radio shack... can't remember if I saw any that cheap at Lowe's and Home Depot where I got the rest of the parts (I used #10 solid wire instead of coat hangers, because all I have are wooden hangers... be careful cutting open the jacket, and you only need to strip off the insulation where the wire's under the screws).

Posted by: Darr247 | October 22, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This is why the Hackers should United and open up all internet services to those with computers Free of Service; it is the only right thing to do for the internet used the word "Free" when it first came out.

Would someone post where I could Learn to Hack?

Posted by: SOCIETY1 | October 22, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

With digital TV signals that no longer provide reception in many areas, I would think that the networks would want to work with Internet services. They could gradually reduce their broadcast coverage area and replace it with the Internet at a considerable cost savings.

Posted by: gmclain | October 22, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with dlpetersdc above. This is no big deal. Read a book. The market will take care of this. No need for the FCC to get involved.

Posted by: NPRwasWrongToFireJuanWilliamsItIsNecessaryForADemocracyToFosterFreePoliticalTalk | October 22, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Would it be too much to expect the government to protect the consumer from these monopolies that the government itself created? Of course it would.

Posted by: robert17 | October 22, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

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