According to a recent report, Google is working on offering a traditional TV programming service that would be delivered over the Internet in competition against typical cable or satellite TV providers. For several years now, companies have been working to add a variety of Internet services to their TV hardware leading to things like Netflix coming preloaded on Blu-Ray players or directly on televisions. Google would turn this model on its head though, taking the hardware people typically use for Internet services and offering TV programming on it.
The same report indicates Sony and Intel are working on similar services and according to some sources, may be launching them before the end of the year. In the case of Sony, the plan may be to require consumers to have Sony hardware in order to access the service. Apple has also been working on a similar package, but apparently is running into significant resistance from media companies.
Unlike services like Hulu or Amazon.com, which offer on-demand videos, Google’s new service would give users the ability to flip through TV channels via an application on an Internet connected device. Google does have a big challenge in licensing content from media distributors though as they may be hesitant to undermine existing agreements with cable and satellite companies. If they do succeed in striking a deal, they may face the same hurdle traditional carriers have to jump over – having to package high demand channels with low demand channels.
If Google does manage to strike the necessary licensing deals and launches the service, the big question will be whether they can make it a cost-effective alternative for consumers. Google probably will not be able to get the best pricing like major traditional TV carriers, but their interface and potentially the ability to stream content anywhere could offset that.
Cable and satellite companies are working on the same thing though, developing apps to view channels on computers and mobile devices. These companies are pressing on media distributors for wider distribution rights as well.
If Google or any of the other companies working on an Internet delivered TV service manage to get up and running, it could change the whole television programming model. Considering traditional television carriers are working toward the same goal, but from the opposite end of the spectrum, it seems inevitable that the delivery of television programming is going to be very different from what previous generations experienced.
source: Wall Street Journal