There has been a lot of talk about Web TV over the past few months from both Apple and Google trying to interest the public in their products. There have been hardware companies, such as Logitech and Sony providing a product for Google TV. All of this lays out a great foundation for getting an integration between subscription based TV and the Internet providing TV content. Unfortunately, with all the great planning, one area appears to have been missed in the process and that is the networks and studios. With the large networks not willing to participate with either Apple or Google, one has to question whether this will happen anytime soon.
Those individuals who have purchased the Sony Internet TV with Google may be wondering what to do with the giant paper weight they now have. While it is not quite that bad, one would wonder. With all the reluctance of the networks, the obvious question is whether Web TV is now dead and may get brought back to life some time in the future. The technology is sound and the merging of the two is a great idea that may be ahead of its time. Eric Smidt, Google’s CEO was speaking at Web 2.0 Summit this week and said that the TV industry is wrong in their decision to not provide content.
At the moment, Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC, the major US networks, have chosen to block all content for Web TV. This does not leave too many options, such as Netflix for people to take advantage of. For the limited content, is it worth the added expense? As with many things, this all comes down to money. The broadcasters are concerned about their revenue streams and Google may take that from them. According to some reports, Google has not said otherwise. Another example is iTunes and how Steve Jobs has put his muscle behind it to keep costs down when record labels wanted to make more money. With all the distrust going around, it may be years before something can be agreed to.
Google and Apple have to find other avenues to provide content, one of which may be games. That market has exploded this year and is expected to continue to grow. If they can demonstrate their willingness to work with companies there, it may help the major networks to reach some sort of a deal where everyone feels like they have won.
On the positive side, Samsung is going to be announcing a Google TV they will be selling some time in January. This is not an official announcement, just a report from Bloomberg News. If that comes through, it does keep things alive, though on life support. Hopefully, something changes on the stalemate in negotiations for the major networks. If they do come to an agreement, everyone wins.