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Hollywood Fears Google TV


9:50 AM -- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has recently met with TV networks, including ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, in an effort to drum up support for its upcoming Google TV service -- but the content owners still have some misgivings, according to reports.

Google TV will allow users to search programming from cable, satellite, and the Web through TVs and set-tops that are made by Sony and Logitech and loaded with Google software. The first of these devices will be released this fall.

But according to the LA Times, the upcoming service is giving Hollywood "the jitters," because it fears the Internet will wreak havoc on it as it did with the music and newspaper industries. And The Wall Street Journal reports content owners are "skeptical" about whether Google can provide a business model that would assuage these fears -- and some are considering blocking their Web video from playing on devices like Google TV.

But Google says it's just organizing content that's already out there.

"We want to use the Internet to change the television experience," Vincent Dureau, Google's head of TV technology, told LAT. "There's no secret plan. We're not designing a rocket that's going to the moon. At the end of the day, the story's simple. We're putting a browser in the TV to enable a whole bunch of things that the studios and the networks are already doing today, but in a less disjointed fashion."

In other news:

  • Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) won't make a deal to stream its content on Netflix, despite Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX)'s desire to offer shows like True Blood through its "Watch Instantly" service, Bloomberg reports. HBO co-president Eric Kessler said the premium cable channel is likely to stick with its own online product, HBO Go. "There is value in exclusivity," he said. Netflix has previously made deals to stream content from other premium cable channels, such as Starz and, more recently, EPIX.

  • The majority of TV viewers are tuning in to time-shifted TV, the AP reports. A survey conducted for Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) revealed that 62 percent of viewers have watched time-shifted TV via a DVR, the Internet, or an on-demand service, and 60 percent own a DVR.

    — Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Light Reading Cable

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