Three major television networks – ABC, NBC, and CBS – are stopping Google TV from accessing streaming video through their websites, according to the Wall Street Journal. That means while you can stream free full episodes of NBC’s “The Office” or CBS’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” from a traditional computer, you won’t be able to watch from a device running the Google TV service. For the moment, Fox is still allowing Google TV access to its streaming content, but is reportedly considering blocking access as well. Web streaming site Hulu also blocks Google TV.
Google TV connects to HDTVs and set-top boxes and makes use of the Android operating system. Earlier this month, Sony and Logitech both began to sell devices that support the service. Google won’t profit from selling the Google TV service itself, but will rely on its tried-and-true model of driving profits through its ad-based business model.
The dispute highlights an ongoing reluctance on the part of established media companies, which produce content, to support ventures by newer tech companies, which want to distribute that content. Some of the companies have expressed concerns over Google’s search engine displaying links to pirated content.
Google released a statement that its TV service “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 users from accessing their content on the platform.” Reuters reports that Google is “actively negotiating” with the three networks.
Earlier this month, the three networks and Fox announced that they were holding off on getting on board the Google TV bus. Other companies, including Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting, decided that they would go ahead and support the service and optimized their websites specifically for Google TV. HBO announced that it would allow subscribers to access hundreds of hours of content directly through Google TV.