SBD/July 17, 2013/Media

Google In Talks With Media Companies About Licensing For Internet TV Service

Google has "recently approached media companies about licensing their content for an Internet TV service that would stream traditional TV programming," according to sources cited by Stewart & Ramachandran of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. If Google "goes ahead with the idea, it would join several other companies planning to offer services that deliver cable TV-style packages of channels over broadband connections." Intel and Sony are "both working on similar offerings," while Apple has "pitched various TV licensing ideas to media companies in the past couple of years." The internet TV services if launched "could have major implications for the traditional TV ecosystem, creating new competition for pay-TV operators that are already struggling to retain video subscribers." There is "no guarantee Google, or any of the technology companies, will be able to strike licensing deals" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/17). In N.Y., Brian Stelter writes if Google "has its way, you might someday get cable television ... through any ordinary Internet connection." Google's talks with media companies are "a sign of the newfound race to sell cablelike services via the Internet, creating an alternative" to current TV packages. Google by "instigating conversations with channel owners about a service that would compete with the likes of Comcast ... is taking a different tack than its rival Apple, which has been trying to collaborate with both channel owners and their distributors on a TV offering" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/17).
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