SBD/November 4, 2011/Media

Google Is Considering Offering Paid Cable TV Services To Consumers

Google looking into distributing major TV channels through video service
Google is considering a plan to "offer paid cable-TV services to consumers, a move that could unleash a new wave of competition within the traditional TV business,” according to Schechner & Efrati of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Sources said that Google “has looked at ways to expand a previously announced project to build a high-speed Internet service in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., adding video and phone service in a mirror of offerings from cable and telecom companies.” The company as a result “has discussed distributing major TV channels from companies like Walt Disney Co., Time Warner Inc. and Discovery Communications Inc. as part of the video service, though the discussions were exploratory and no final decisions have been made.” Google last week “unveiled a series of deals with celebrities and production companies to create roughly 100 free, ad-supported online ‘channels’ for its YouTube online video service.” Former Google Product Dir Keval Desai said, “TV is built on a closed system, which is why traditional cable and satellite operators are the only place where consumers can get ESPN and other channels." He added that “as more TVs become connected to the Web, ‘Internet companies like Google will be able to give you that same high-quality content,’ possibly at lower prices” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/4).
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