Fox joins Google TV blockade; advantage to Hulu, Apple

hulu2Fox is the latest broadcaster to block access from Google TV devices, following a string of events that has occurred over the last month to suddenly mitigate the potential of the Internet giant’s new TV software. Hulu was the first firm to reject Google TV, quickly followed by ABC, NBC and CBS, all of whom stopped Google TV from accessing most of their content. Google recently did benefit from a bit of Internet-style moxie when some Google TV viewers used Comcast’s Fancast portal as a work-around path to content on Hulu, but a few days ago even that road was blocked.

GizmoCrunch has more on Fox:

“A quick scroll to the Fox website via the Google TV device now greets you with a “This content is not compatible with your device” error message. The block is enforced by Flash ID just like the other networks used, making simple browser workarounds not possible.

This trend of blocking access to Google TV will possibly affect other similar devices as well including Boxee Box which just released today.”

CrunchGear has more of Fancast:

“Someone clearly couldn’t keep their mouth shut and let it slip that Fancast.com was Google TV‘s backdoor to Hulu… This is getting a bit frustrating. It’s like buying a fancy speed boat, only to discover when you get home the local wildlife nuts convinced the authorities to impose strict speed limits. It’s no fun even if it does save an endangered species and doesn’t seem like the restrictions will be lifted anytime soon.

The battle lines have been drawn by the traditional TV networks and their new online BFF Hulu. Sensing that service providers and other over-the-top video options were moving onto its turf, Hulu has tightened with the broadcasters, some of whom initially were threatened by its rise. Now, thinking about their own self-preservation, those broadcasters have followed Hulu’s lead, and service providers like Comcast will have to make sure they comply with the blockade, too, if they want to maintain anything close to favorable relationships with the content crowd. Where is Net Neutrality when you really need it?

Google TV is looking less desirable by the day, regardless of the cool gadgets that have been timed with its launch. The biggest beneficiary in the whole thing is Hulu, which, whether or not has a viable business model, suddenly seems in control of its own destiny, and very influential in the destinies of the broadcast giants. Another beneficiary: Apple, whose Apple TV is looking better by the day, since it at least forged relationships with ABC and Fox.

4 Responses to “Fox joins Google TV blockade; advantage to Hulu, Apple”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone remember Carterphone?

  2. J McGee says:

    What’s the beef?
    Does HULU have a content license arrangement with the networks that Google is trying to avoid?

    I haven’t review Google’s service, is there a subscription fee?
    Are the networks trying to gather a percentage from sale of Google hardware devices?

    Is everyone trying to protect there advertising revenue?

  3. Jim A says:

    All these folks are doing is sticking their combined heads in the sand. A compromise will come near term as they all begin to realize that the Video Distribution networks will all eventually go thu a Google TV like Service/System. The TV will simply become another Video/Data Display device (one of 4 screens) connecte to the Internet and the existing Business Model of VOD (Satellite delivery) will go away and be replaced by OTT services.
    Once Hulu realizes it can make far more money by teaming with a Google TV, who will eventually dominate video sourcing via its Cloud infrastructure they will work something out.
    It is the Studios that willbend eventually as they realize they cannot totally control content app delivery.

    Jacomo

  4. @Anonymous: Sure I remember Carterphone. I remember all the confusion for years afterwards as well.

    @J McGee: The beef is control. It’s got nothing to do with money today, although it may tomorrow. If it were about money, really about money, would the networks play brinkmanship with the cable companies every time the contract expires? Why are they raising rates they charge cable companies to allow them to reach more viewers, when those viewers men more advertising revenue. It’s really about control. And with good reason, since the networks and other content providers also own (and continue to buy) traditional distribution channels. What they don’t want is for us to be able to watch content without the advertising attached. They just don’t realize that their actions are pushing us to do just that.

    @Jim A: Ask any nearby 18-25 year old. The future of TV is on-demand. The sooner the content providers make that easy, the sooner they can go back to making money. And guess what, the 18-25 year olds don’t care if a given program or channel, if a thousand given programs or channels, are not available using their chosen method of viewing… they just watch what is available to them.

    So back to my first note, above, to Anonymous… it’s not going to be a pretty next few years.

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