In my previous post on Apple TV, I mentioned how Google were also gearing up to hit the multi-billion dollar TV sector. That seems to have been an understatement because according to latest information, Google are in the late stages of plans to construct a high speed Internet fiber optic service in Kansas City Mo. as well as Kansas City Kan. This comes on the back of Google’s launch of a revamped Google TV 2.0, which TechCrunch gives a less than average rating in terms of becoming that killer app that bridges the gap between cable and Internet.
This places Google in a rather tricky position because cable providers already offer “triple play”; cable TV, telephone service and broadband Internet. With the direct collision course that Google’s trajectory is creating, it may not be a very synergistic outcome especially if both the Internet search giant as well as the cable providers are competing for the same customer base.
TV is all about content and those who control the content have been hesitant to depart from their traditional ways of doing things to try something new. This is why CBS turned down a content deal with Apple and web broadcasting company Hulu, (in separate deals) a company which Google has also coincidentally been bidding for. The reason being the current deals the content creators have with mainstream TV providers is worth a fortune in guaranteed recurrent income while deals with Apple or Google would be more like pissing in the wind.
The real nut to crack for Google TV and any other Internet giants who may be salivating over the pay TV market will be the content dilemma. It will not be technology or even viewership but rather who gets to pay the piper and call the tune. It’s very clear that the content creation pipers are getting some good change from mainstream TV and cable and they are not about to start playing a new tune.