Google’s plans for the upcoming Google TV system may be facing unexpectedly strong opposition from TV networks, with skepticism about the search giant’s ability to monetize the platform. According to the WSJ‘s sources, Google has met with officials of TV networks including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, who have expressed concerns that their content may get lost amid the deluge of streaming media and even pirated content.
In fact, there’s apparently talk of content providers moving to block their sites from supporting Google TV, similar to how Hulu has blocked their streaming shows from being viewed through Boxee. For their part, the networks are publicly tentative; CBS senior VP Anthony Soohoo told the WSJ that the company would be keen to work with “potential partners who value our content” and that a “key next step is gaining an understanding of Google’s business model for the product and how it relates back to content owners such as CBS.”
Insiders, though, say that Google is yet to pin down that elusive content model, and that in fact may be looking to build user adoption before trying to monetize Google TV. The system adds a layer of search on top of regular TV services, using contextual cues to suggest matching online media from YouTube and other sources which can then be viewed via the Google TV box (which may be integrated into HDTVs). Recently the company acquired Texas Instruments’ cable STB division, prompting speculation that they might integrate Google TV services into the future product range.