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ABC, CBS, and NBC Block Google TV 227

Posted by timothy
from the speaking-of-locked-down dept.
markjhood2003 writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that 'ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking TV programming on their websites from being viewable on Google Inc.'s new Web-TV service. ... Spokespeople for the three networks confirmed that they are blocking the episodes on their websites from playing on Google TV, although both ABC and NBC allow promotional clips to work using the service.' Google has responded, 'Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owners' choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform.'"
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ABC, CBS, and NBC Block Google TV

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  • Sickbeard & XBMC. (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:31AM (#33994278)

    Sickbeard [sickbeard.com] makes one hell of a DVR program. (When paired with sabnzbd [sabnzbd.org] or a torrent program).

    $25 for a 180GB block from Astraweb has lasted me since August and I haven't even burned through 1/2 of it yet. (I used to have the $10/month unlimited until I realized how much I really didn't use it). Programs available within a few minutes of the show ending. 30 minute TV shows take 2-3 minutes. Hour long never take longer than 10. (Heck when I saturate my cable I can have a movie in 8 minutes).

    XBMC [xbmc.org] makes one hell of a nice front end. I come home from school or work and just browse to the 'latest episodes' and watch something.

    • You just described my exact setup, minus the good bandwidth.
    • I was thinking about going with Astraweb after my current plan runs out, their plans seem a heck of a lot more reasonable. Do they have some sort of affiliate program (I figure if I'm going to sign up, somebody ought to get something out of it).
    • Re:Sickbeard & XBMC. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chapter80 (926879) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @07:29AM (#33995434)

      Sickbeard [sickbeard.com] makes one hell of a DVR program. (When paired with sabnzbd [sabnzbd.org] or a torrent program).

      $25 for a 180GB block from Astraweb ...

      Since I never heard of Sickbeard, sabnzbd, or Astraweb, I figured I'd do a little research, and post my (Score: 5 Informative?) findings here. Please correct me if I made any mistakes....

      Sickbeard is an open source, GPL licensed Python application (so runs on Windows and Linux and other platforms), that watches newsgroups, looking for announcements of TV shows whose torrents have been put on the web. In Sickbeard, the user can specify which shows he is interested in, and it keeps an eye out for those shows. Once it finds shows that the user has specified, it can queue up a retrieval program, but Sickbeard doesn't retrieve them itself.

      Sickbeard will request the show from sabnzbd. Sabnzbd is also open source, Python. Its function is to go retrieve binaries from newsgroups. So it seems to me that the newsgroups have both the announcement of the availability of a TV program (like a torrent tracker), and the actual program. Sickbeard is watching the announcements, and Sabnzbd is grabbing the program.

      Astraweb is a newsgroup website that apparently allows you to download newsgroup posts. This is a paid service, and the parent post signed up for a $25 service for 180GB of downloads. Based on my MythTV experience, I'm guessing this might be 180 half hours of TV (please correct this number if I am off!).

      So for $25 plus 2 free open source programs, I can have almost 200 half-hour programs that I can watch anytime (starting a few minutes after they air). Interesting!

      ----

      I'm looking for a "to go" solution for watching TV at a cottage (where we have no cable, and no internet). We've been getting by with taking Netflix with us each time we go to the cottage (combined with a small DVD collection), but this might be an interesting supplement! (Other suggestions welcome!!)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Interesting post

        Is any of that legal?

        Too bad my Verizon ISP stopped carrying Usenet newsgroups. I can understand the newsgroups used a lot of bandwidth/storage, but they could have dropped the *.binary groups and kept pure text forums like rec.arts.tv or rec.arts.startrek. (sigh) At least they haven't installed datacaps like my other ISP comcast did.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Chapter80 (926879)

          My guess, and I'm no lawyer, is that you can download programs without violating the law (or violating somebody's copyright), but that uploading is where you may run into some trouble.

          Look at how the RIAA has gone after music downloaders. I believe their legal cases have all hinged on the fact that the downloaders (that they went after) also shared the torrents. I think that leeching is safe - you aren't "republishing".

          Of course, one may also question the ethics.

          Since I can record shows myself, I don't p

          • Re:Sickbeard & XBMC. (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @09:59AM (#33996072)
            My guess, and I'm no lawyer, is that you can download programs without violating the law (or violating somebody's copyright), but that uploading is where you may run into some trouble.

            In the US, both are illegal. It's just that it's far far easier to go after the uploaders, and even that isn't working out that well for the RIAA/MPAA.
  • God damnit.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rivalz (1431453) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:32AM (#33994280)

    That is a lot of crappy television shows I have to boycott now.
    I was just thinking that all the t.v. shows on right now suck because of the writers strike a while back.
    It turns out the executives are just insane.

    • It turns out the executives are just insane.

      Why? Because Google ( a business in the business of making money ) wants to make boat loads of money on their product without paying for it? The "crappy" shows you were not watching anyway are a product. If Google wants to make money off of them, than perhaps they should pay the networks a cut of the take? It sounds like a reasonable idea to me...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ooshna (1654125)
        Isn't that what the unfast-forwardable ads they show are for? I mean they already make money forcing me to watch those shitty Wheat Thins ads (I'm looking at you Daily Show). Why should they charge Google for something I can watch for free on someone's WebTV?
      • Well the alternative is iTunes

      • Re:God damnit.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rivalz (1431453) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @05:29AM (#33995066)

        Well for one the tv studios didn't innovate when the technology was ripe. Now they missed out on the money train and are afraid of their revenue stream taking a hit. Now they are going to alienate themselves from portions of their audience. I don't follow TV statistics but I would bet that the number of TV viewers & subscriptions has leveled out and will start to decrease as tv over the internet takes hold.

        Instead of embracing technology and taking their beating earlythey will wait a few more years and try and launch their own version which will suck.
        Most companies have the mentality of avoiding investing in new tech that would cut into their revenue. Even though that new technology might insure or increase its market share.

        Like it or not google seems to be pushing for innovation in almost all forms of communication / entertainment.

        Let me know when google bank, google mobile, google car, google real estate come online.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          >>>they will wait a few more years and try and launch their own version which will suck.

          Or maybe not. The history of invention shows that being "first" is typically a bad idea. It's often a good tactic to let someone else waste millions on R&D, plus advertising, and then jump on the bandwagon after the technology is already proven. It also helps you avoid wasting cash on flops (like Digital Cassette* or CED Videorecords or Betamax).

          *
          * This: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Cassette [wikipedia.org]

      • If Google wants to make money off of them, than perhaps they should pay the networks a cut of the take?

        Then why don't the manufacturers of small form factor PCs pay the major networks a cut of the take? And why haven't the manufacturers of TV sets been paying the networks a cut of their take since the black-and-white days?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        >>>Because Google ( a business in the business of making money ) wants to make boat loads of money on their product without paying for it?

        Ooops! ABC, CBS, and NBC are public broadcasters.
        They don't charge to access their content.
        You can watch it for free (via antenna or internet).

        I can't think of any logical reason why these broadcasters would block Google or any other web device. Perhaps the FCC ought to revoke their licenses to public frequencies, and give channels 2 to 51 for cellphone/interne

        • by Sepodati (746220)

          ABC, CBS, and NBC are public broadcasters. They don't charge to access their content.

          If you're a cable or satellite operator, you pay for stations that elect Retransmission Consent [wikipedia.org].

          John

      • Re:God damnit.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @08:30AM (#33995664) Homepage

        > Why? Because Google ( a business in the business of making money ) wants
        > to make boat loads of money on their product without paying for it?

        No. They are just providing a means to read the same data that is being provided for free to anyone else.

        They are by no stretch of the imagination "leeches" or "pirates".

        The notion that they are is just pure NewSpeak.

        This is the Net Neutrality problem in action. Although in this case it is website owners trying to discriminate based on what web browser they see.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Should Sony, Samsung, and all the other television manufacturers also give the networks a cut of their profits? Surely one of the primary uses of any television is to watch shows put out by the networks.

    • by nomadic (141991)
      So....if they hadn't done this, you wouldn't boycott the really bad shows and watch them instead?
  • by DelitaTheFridge (912659) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:38AM (#33994312)
    Seems like this would be easily worked around by changing some useragent strings. Not sure why Google wouldn't do that themselves, but I guess they probably care more about their relationship with media companies than I do.
    • by Lobachevsky (465666) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:44AM (#33994338)

      ABC, NBC, et al. could claim Google is spoofing its useragent to circumvent the ban on Google TV. That means they could sue Google under the provisions of DMCA. Blame your legislators for passing idiotic laws that forbid gaining "unauthorized" access through spoofing.

      • by JSBiff (87824)

        I don't think there's any law that dictates what User Agent String a web browser returns. Web Sites can try to use the User Agent string to block content, but I hardly think the User Agent String constitutes a legal 'access control' for content. However, I suspect that there are other ways to suss out what browser is being used - perhaps something with JavaScript, or similar. Maybe a DirectX plugin or something which won't run on a Linux-based Google TV device.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:19AM (#33994482)

        No they couldn't.

        User agent strings don't count as "technological measures"; both the IETF and the W3C say that they're purely advisory, optional, not guaranteed to even exist let alone be correct (or to be useful when they are correct), and MUST not be relied upon.

        Besides; what's to stop someone filtering the User Agent with a proxy? That's what I do.

        CAPTCHA: baseless

      • by bjourne (1034822)
        No, they would just setup hotlink protection and deny all requests originating from GoogleTV's website. The only reliable way to circumvent that would be for Google to download all the video streams and host them on their own hardware. But then they would be committing copyright infringement, which is illegal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Anything Google changes it to will be blocked, most likely. Unless it happened to be the exact UA of - say - IE6, and then these companies would probably start blocking based on other bits of availaible information(like flash version, browser accept string, platform etc).

      If users change it themselves, different strings will be used and thus the problem will be avoided - You would end up blocking a lot of legit users to try to block all GoogleTVs.

      Also, Google is trying to provide a platform, and most likely

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Situations like this are why I never liked the user agent string. It shouldn't have been included in http to begin with and every time I see some new protocol appear with a user agent string (like bittorrent) I start wondering how long it will take before someone has to spoof it (in the case of bittorrent, a few months ago torrent trackers I use started using whitelists and my client is obscure so I changed it to that of the most popular client at the time).
      User agent strings are evil since it makes it easy

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Geminii (954348)

      Because if Google reacts like that, it would be saying that the media companies are right and Google is sneaking around being dastardly.

      If Google simply sits there, patiently, eventually Big Media will, snarling all the way, cave. At which point Google has the upper hand in all dealings. And all it has to do in the meantime is keep its hand out with a delicious snackie and say soothing things like "We completely respect the right of the TV companies to make decisions they believe are in their best interes

      • >>>If Google simply sits there, patiently, eventually Big Media will, snarling all the way, cave.

        You are correct (maybe). That's what Cable companies typically do during negotiations. For example when FOX recently cut-off Time-Warner, the cable company refused to budge. Eventually they reached an agreement that TW would pay 25 cents to air the channel, which was far less than the 1 dollar FOX wanted.

        Google can and should adopt similar tactics. The only problem is that GoogleTV is a new object

  • It baffles me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by txoof (553270) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:44AM (#33994340) Homepage

    It baffles me that the networks' left and right hands don't know what the other are doing. With one hand they gleefully provide online versions of the shows and with the other, they smack down anyone (Boxee, Google) that tries to make the consumption of those products easier.

    People that choose to watch the shows over the internet are actively choosing to not make regular network TV a part of their day. They aren't willing to sit down at 8 pm, 7 central to watch Chuck; they want to watch it at 6:00 am before work. 10 years ago, they would have been lost viewers. All that advertising revenue would have vanished with their choice. Today, the networks have an option to recapture some of that lost revenue via internet viewers. Granted, they don't show as many adverts, and that ad space (for the moment) is worth less than TV ad time, but they still get money.

    Why are they getting upset when google/boxee/whoever drives MORE users to their product? Or are they just afraid that people will choose to eschew network TV in favor of internet TV? If that's the case, they've already lost the battle by offering shows on the internet. Some networks have come up with reasonable solutions though: Fox shows House a week late on the internet for example. Why not offer extra content on TV to encourage TV watching over internet watching. Or, resolve cliff-hangers on the air and make internet viewers sweat it out for an extra two weeks.

    What other reasons can /. think of for the networks behavior? Why are they so afraid of internet content aggregators?

    • Re:It baffles me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:08AM (#33994444)

      As you said, they are terrified that people will stop watching regular TV. Not only do most networks get paid by cable companies per customer (rather than based on viewership numbers), they also get much higher advertising rates on regular TV.

      They started putting content online for a variety of reasons:
      1) Because some people have switched permanently and they can't afford to miss out on that revenue
      2) Because they don't want to get left behind their competitors
      3) Because if they can increase online viewership sufficiently and/or prove to advertisers through metrics that internet ads yield a similar or greater return than traditional tv, they can up their online advertising prices.

      If ESPN3.com and similar sites succeed, expect all the major content providers to do the same thing. Charging an ISP per customer to let them have access to a website is what most TV companies (and even sites like NYTimes) want the most. Reliable baseline income + bonus from advertising is how these companies like to operate.

      • by SeaFox (739806)

        Not only do most networks get paid by cable companies per customer (rather than based on viewership numbers), they also get much higher advertising rates on regular TV.

        Wait, wait. The networks mentioned here are ABC, CBS, and NBC. Those are broadcast networks. Until very recently, they didn't get paid at all by cable companies. Since the programming was available for free over-the-air cablecos didn't see any reason why they should have to pay to carry them as well. It's only within the last year or so that

        • Exactly why this is happening. The broadcast networks found that they could double dip by charging the cable providers for their content, after it was already paid for by the advertisers. It seems entirely logical (to them) that they should get money from every service which delivers their content to the consumer, even if it happens to be their own website. They're looking to get $$$ from all these players.

        • >>>Many people here will redoubtably recall temporary [cable] blackouts of some network stations

          God I'm glad I have an antenna.
          No blackouts here. Ever.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        >>>they are terrified that people will stop watching regular TV

        True. Because they make less profit from online ads. But perhaps it's time TV stop spending 1-2 million dollars per episode? Back in the 50s and 60s, television only cost $200,000 per episode (in today's dollars). There's not really any reason to spend much more than that today. ----- Babylon 5 only cost $800,000 per episode... half what Star Trek DS9/VOY cost. They accomplished that by (1) finishing scripts one week prior to sh

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rich0 (548339)

          But perhaps it's time TV stop spending 1-2 million dollars per episode?

          Well, if they did that then ANYBODY could create a TV show. And, since Google TV would make random-webpage-RSS-feed as easy to tune into as CBS, there goes the oligopoly.

          Right now the major networks control the distribution of television, and the barrier to entry is extremely high (what does it cost to actually get something broadcast to the majority of TV sets in the US?).

          If you make TV nothing more than an RSS feed, then all you need

    • Re:It baffles me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GiveBenADollar (1722738) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:08AM (#33994446)
      There is a reason why very few companies last over 100 years, the longer it exists the harder it is to change. Right now network execs are still thinking in terms of time slots, competing with the other guy, and other outmoded concepts. The internet does scare them, that's why many shows are unavailable until a few days after airing. If consumers stop watching when the show is on the air they might be watching something else! The silly thing about this is DVRs have made timeslots meaningless, and have also made commercials easy to skip through. If they really wanted to profit they would embrace the internet and start showing all their programing online with ads so that the viewer can decide what he or she wants to watch and when.
    • by initialE (758110)

      What product are you referring to? The only product I see is the one sitting behind the box, that apparently is defective - it needs to be made to jump through more hoops dammit, or it won't be docile when delivered to the customers.

    • Re:It baffles me (Score:5, Informative)

      by nametaken (610866) * on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:21AM (#33994498)

      If anyone cares...

      CBS Feedback Form
      http://www.cbs.com/info/user_services/fb_global_form.php [cbs.com]

      NBC Feedback Form
      http://nbc.researchresults.com/?s=3 [researchresults.com]

      ABC Contact Form
      http://abc.go.com/site/contact-us [go.com]

      • Re:It baffles me (Score:5, Informative)

        by nametaken (610866) * on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:26AM (#33994508)

        My apologies, for NBC this is the contact page...
        http://www.nbc.com/contact/general/ [nbc.com]

        • Dang. I had NoScript turned-off, and that nbc site brought my browser (Gecko Mozilla/5.0) to a crawl. What on earth kind of scripting are they using?

          "Dear ABC/CB/NBC:

          "Google TV blocked - why? I'm not angry. I'd just like to know WHY you chose to block my new GoogleTV device from seeing your shows? Thank you. :-)"

      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        "If anyone cares...

        CBS Feedback Form..."

        CBS cares! /\

      • P.S.

        I can't believe how difficult these channels are to "talk" to. It's as if they don't want to hear from the customers. ABC/CBS was not too bad, but on NBC they forced me to fill-out some stupid survey. On FOX I couldn't find a "contact us" link, so I was forced to do a search. Then after I submitted my question, I was redirected to a FAQ and my question never mailed to a real person. NPR had exactly the same problem when I tried to contact them yesterday.

        Now contrast that with CW which proudly displ

    • Re:It baffles me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:37AM (#33994564)

      That one's easy. They're terrified of losing control of your big TV with a remote in the living room. Ordinary viewers do not have a computer hooked up the TV, and a laptop is just too inconvenient to use for most.

      The internet viewing streams are there to use hunched over your laptop or sat at your desk. It's not the 'premium' experience of the family sat on the sofa with an easy to use remote. The internet streams are based on that, and the revenue from that is relatively low.

      Remember, you are not the customer - the advertiser is the customer, you're the product, and the TV program is just there to get your eyeballs on the adverts. Google TV threatens to bring the internet streaming model to the comfy sofa TV viewing for the masses, and is a direct threat to their broadcast business model.

      Apple TV is a little different, as they get paid directly per episode 'bought' through itunes, and I imagine the profit margin on that is considerably higher than the adverts on the web-streaming model. It may even be higher than the traditional broadcast-advert model, and it works as apple users are used to paying through the nose for a slick experience. Ordinary users with a google box (or boxee box) streaming off of hulu etc? Not so much.

      • Ordinary viewers do not have a computer hooked up the TV

        From 1987 (VGA introduction) to 2006 (when HDTVs became affordable), PCs didn't have television output as a standard feature. SDTVs needed an obscure adapter [wikipedia.org] to turn the EDTV output from a PC's VGA port into a 480i signal that they can handle. But by fall of 2010, two-thirds of U.S. households have an HDTV [bizjournals.com], and HDTVs accept the VGA and DVI signals from common PCs [pineight.com]. Why hasn't a PC in the living room taken off, and what can geeks to help make them more common among non-geeks?

        • by JackDW (904211)

          Just spread the word. HTPCs sell themselves. It's just a matter of knowing what is possible.

          I recommend HTPCs to people, and I point out that they don't need to buy new stuff. While it is nice to have DVI out and a video card that supports accelerated Flash, these are not required. Nor is the wireless keyboard/mouse or the special media centre software. You can just use an old machine. Windows XP and a web browser. It is easy.

          Here in the UK, HTPCs have a second advantage beyond the convenience of on-deman

        • >>>From 1987 (VGA introduction) to 2006 (when HDTVs became affordable), PCs didn't have television output as a standard feature

          I know you're talking about IBM PCs, but if you look at the "generic" PC, then Ataris, Commodores, and Amigas have been NTSC and PAL TV compatible since 1979, because their video output was based upon those standards.

        • >>>Why hasn't a PC in the living room taken off, and what can geeks to help make them more common among non-geeks?

          Old-fashioned notions that computers don't belong in the living room. For example my friend's wife will NOT let him put his computer in the living room, and instead forces him to put the computer in the upstairs office. I told her I have my computer in my living room so I can surf & watch TV at the same time and she replied, "Yeah that's because you have no taste." I countered t

      • by theurge14 (820596)

        Yes, Apple TV is a little different than Google TV. It's a working product that has been making money for a while now.

        You characterize Apple users who are "used to playing through the nose for a slick experience" but Apple TV owners are not Apple users any more than the legions of iPod and iPhone users are. You are taking what you think of Mac users and projecting it on to everything else.

        The Apple TV is $99. The TV shows they can purchase a la carte are a few dollars per episode, without commercials. S

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It baffles me that the networks' left and right hands don't know what the other are doing. With one hand they gleefully provide online versions of the shows and with the other, they smack down anyone (Boxee, Google) that tries to make the consumption of those products easier.

      Put it this way: if they wanted to make the free versions of their shows as easy to access as possible, they would provide downloadable DRM-free copies to anyone that wanted them. The point is not to make access easy, it's to make acces

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rudolf (43885)

      People that choose to watch the shows over the internet are actively choosing to not make regular network TV a part of their day. They aren't willing to sit down at 8 pm, 7 central to watch Chuck; they want to watch it at 6:00 am before work. 10 years ago, they would have been lost viewers.
      Why would those viewers be lost? Wouldn't those viewers have used a VCR 10 years ago? Or a TiVo?

      • by julesh (229690)

        Why would those viewers be lost? Wouldn't those viewers have used a VCR 10 years ago? Or a TiVo?

        Yes. But the networks count them as lost. The ratings provided by Nielsen et al only count live viewers. Why? Because the people who aren't watching live are less likely to see the commercials, and that's all they really care about.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          >>>The ratings provided by Nielsen et al only count live viewers.

          False.

          The HouseHold ratings only count live viewers, but the Same Day and 7-Day Ratings add the DVR homes to the total.

    • Re:It baffles me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bazorg (911295) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @04:03AM (#33994806) Homepage
      I believe I understand their reasons. If you switch the TV on on a channel or go to the website of the TV channel, you are still using and reinforcing the usefulness of the brand of that channel. If you fire up your computer, do some search for specific TV shows and watch them from within a google user interface, then the channel becomes less important, therefore less valuable for advertisers.

      It might be a losing battle, but I understand why companies would fight it for as long as possible. It certainly seems better to be a good TV channel than to be one of the random websites where people land if they want to watch a TV show that has significant brand recognition and for that reason cost a lot of money for the channel to have the right to broadcast it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/06/26/2236210/The-Simpsons-Worth-More-Per-Viewer-On-Hulu-Than-On-Fox?from=rss

      Actually, some shows are worth more online than via nielsen rating driven advertising. Many shows have approached, or surpassed broadcast advertising income per viewer, and the number of shows are growing every day. The logic behind this is simple. People are more likely to actually watch/listen to the ads via Hulu than they are via broadcast. With only a single commercial during breaks, the majori

    • by bjourne (1034822)
      Google isn't doing anything out of the goodness of their heart. They want to become the middleman between the viewer and the networks so that they can get a slice of the advertising pie. The networks have their own streaming sites, or are in the process of implementing them. They don't want or need Google as their middleman because it costs them money.
    • >>>6:00 am before work. 10 years ago...that advertising revenue would have vanished

      That's not even close to accurate. Ten years ago people had VCRs. They taped what they wanted to see, which included the ads. (Nielsen Research at the time showed most viewers didn't skip the ads.) So almost no advertising revenue was lost by the networks.
      .

      >>>internet ad space (for the moment) is worth less than TV ad time,

      Precisely. The networks prefer that people watch (or tape) the TV ads, rather tha

  • by hackel (10452) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @01:55AM (#33994392) Journal

    The traditional TV networks, recording companies, movie producers, etc. are *never* going to give up their business model. EVER. They are dinosaurs and simply will not change. It's futile to think that they will. The only option is for them to go out of business. They will, of course, but it's going to be a long wait, unfortunately. They will continue to fight us at every turn, but eventually, they will be gone. Until then, our job is to hang in there, continue to support independent projects, use torrents so that they lose advertising revenue, and teach as many people as we know to do the same.

    • The traditional TV networks, recording companies, movie producers, etc. are *never* going to give up their business model. EVER.

      But they have already modified their business model. They provide free streamed versions of many of their high-rating shows. It's perfect for those who want to "try before they buy". Oh wait, you weren't wanting a change in business model, you just wanted them to change to the business model you wanted. Doing anything else makes them a dinosaur.

      hey will continue to fight us at ever

      • But they have already modified their business model. They provide free streamed versions of many of their high-rating shows. It's perfect for those who want to "try before they buy". Oh wait, you weren't wanting a change in business model, you just wanted them to change to the business model you wanted. Doing anything else makes them a dinosaur.

        I'm sorry, resisting what hackel wants is not what makes them dinosaurs. Resisting what the market wants is what makes them dinosaurs. The market is waning for broadcast, timeslotted, shut-up-and-eat-your-spam programming now that new technology allows time shifting and format shifting. That's what people want, what they'll spend their time on and what they'll pay to have. Why do we need a "try before you buy" of something we don't want to buy? Oh wait, it's not about what we want. It's about what you want

        • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @05:26AM (#33995056) Journal

          I'm sorry, resisting what hackel wants is not what makes them dinosaurs. Resisting what the market wants is what makes them dinosaurs.

          If I, personally, was given the choice between being called a dinosaur by morons and working thanklessly for them for free, I would rather be called a dinosaur. I'm not sure I could afford anything different.

          The market is waning for broadcast, timeslotted, shut-up-and-eat-your-spam programming now that new technology allows time shifting and format shifting.

          Cable companies are now supplying DVRs, and, like I said, providing free versions of their shows online. I can't think of a format shifting example, but then again, I can't think of anyone who expects to be able to format-shift their TV. Bitch all you want, but cable companies are adapting, and you whiny pirates are revealing yourselves to be the greedy, inflexible ones in all of this. Whodathunkit?

          Oh wait, it's not about what we want. It's about what you want. You still want us (eg, everyone else) to bleed in order to finance your pork barrel programming.

          Citation needed. Why on earth would I want anything like that?

          What I do want is sustainable practices when it comes to art. I don't mind if we do away with copyright, only if we have a working, implemented, and already used system that replaces all of copyrights functions. I'm sceptical that we can find one that embraces the self-justifying pirate's sense of self-entitlement and abject greed, but like any good sceptic, I'm open to the possibilities.

          I remember this conversation! We're still weeping for the impending demise of the $300 million blockbuster. :D

          Have you spouted this same crap before to me? I'm sorry if I don't remember you; you sound just like all the other self-entitled pricks I've argued with: rhetorically empty, with arguments pasted together purely out of insults.

          As for the $300mil blockbuster, I think the market should decide. Nobody is forcing you, or anyone else, to see them.

          Wasn't the point recently discussed that the shows are not products, our eyeballs are? We don't show demand, the advertisers do? We're not being sold cheese it's just baiting the mousetrap. How is sneaking the cheese off the mousetrap the "worst thing that we can do, yes worse than walking into the trap" when most every natural food source was paved over long ago by the powers that be?

          Let's get this straight. You took a half-truth like "eyeballs are the product" (advertising is only a portion of their revenue), you used that to create a laughably bad analogy, and then concluded something from it about something that was only tangentially related to thing you created the analogy about? That is seriously the worst argument I have heard in at least a month or three.

          When you find independant programming that you like, rejoice! Involve yourself in the communities. Buy the merchandise. Support the cause! But to this date, there's not a lot of independant material to choose from.

          I certainly agree with that. Supporting alternatives is what will get us off our dependence on Big Media. Not just downloading more from them.

          In any event, "not watching" material just because it's commercial and someone is hoping to extort you is precisely as disingenuous as deciding you must plug your ears when walking past a street musician you have no intention of tipping. You'd better close your eyes too, or you might see an expensively produced billboard advertisement for a product you don't intend to purchase.

          Let's get this straight. Choosing to search for and illegally download from a torrent is not the same as walking down the street, hearing buskers and seeing billboards. To claim otherwise is utterly dishonest.

          Except

          • by russotto (537200)

            Cable companies are now supplying DVRs, and, like I said, providing free versions of their shows online. I can't think of a format shifting example, but then again, I can't think of anyone who expects to be able to format-shift their TV.

            Cable companies aren't the issue. NBC, ABC, and CBS are not cable companies.

            What I do want is sustainable practices when it comes to art. I don't mind if we do away with copyright, only if we have a working, implemented, and already used system that replaces all of copyrigh

      • And why are we, both the people who use torrents and those who don't, allowing them to erode our liberties? And why aren't we throwing out a Government who legislates against us?

        Personally, not only has my MEP voted against ACTA, but I'm involved with out local Pirate Party to ensure we get our message across. Ignorance is our biggest threat, not the media companies.

        We have, ourselves, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are bein

    • On the contrary, I think just the opposite. Those TV networks can do whatever they like, but if nobody watch their shows, then it won't matter. Like music and movies, most TV shows are pure entertainment that most people can easily find substitute for. Except for news, I haven't watched any TV shows "over the air" (i.e. at the time designated by the TV network) for years already. If I cannot download or buy DVD for it, I don't watch it. It actually saves a lot of my time, and I don't have to watch any

      • by Angostura (703910)

        "Resisting what the market wants is what makes them dinosaurs."

        Umm, resisting free, unlimited, advertising free content on demand, doesn't make them dinosaurs, because it isn't actually a market.

  • Once there is a simple, uncontrollable way to distribute video with those boxes, the industry will have to react. After all, it's trivially simple today to just record a whole television station.

    • by julesh (229690)

      Apparently with the next update you'll be able to install Android apps. I haven't looked at the Android API, but I would assume it includes everything you'd need to download a video via bittorrent and play it.

      • by Casandro (751346)

        Well unfortunately they still probably have the technical possibility to remote-delete application.

  • Google TV enables access...

    Looks like enable [merriam-webster.com] is one of those words that is its own antonym. The first definition from m-w.com is actual empowerment and the second potential empowerment. The Google statement uses the second definition. But the two definitions are as opposite as actual is from potential.

    Oh wait, I'll just get modded -1 Troll by those who think I'm arrogant. Let me try this again in Slashdotese:

    Google TV enables access...

    Uh, no it doesn't...

    • by julesh (229690)

      Google TV enables access...

      Uh, no it doesn't...

      No, actually it does. Really. If somebody else later disables it, that's not Google's fault, really, is it?

  • by guyminuslife (1349809) on Saturday October 23, 2010 @02:16AM (#33994468)

    Everyone seems to think that the networks don't know what they're doing. They're banning Google TV, when anyone with half a brain knows this sort of thing is the wave of the future. I'm willing to bet that the network execs do, in fact, have at least one half of a brain between them.

    It makes perfect sense if you think, well, maybe they don't really want to ban Google TV. More likely, they want to make a deal with Google, whereby Google pays them for the privilege of using their content.

    • I don't think that's the plan. The networks have shown over and over again that they are willing to put their shows online on your computer, but they don't want the internet distribution to end up on your TV set. They want to continue having TV distributed on "channels" during certain "time slots", because their entire business is built around the concept. They're willing to try to supplant the old business model with "new media", but they don't want to abandon the old business model for a new one.

      Soone

    • by andydread (758754)
      Oh you mean like Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Visio, Samsung and every other company that produces a TV pays them to use their content? Hmmm So should Dell, HP, and others pay them to use their content too when you browse to their website? Interesting.
    • by Rich0 (548339)

      That, and they don't like a world where random youtube video is listed on the channel guide next to CBS. Their whole business model is based on it being hard to broadcast TV, and so they are the gateways that decide what is good enough to show, and they get paid handsomely to do it. If any studio could just put their shows on TV sets, why would they give a chunk of the revenue to some network?

      Apple TV probably doesn't bother them so much, since Apple is all about getting people to pay for an experience -

  • I'm going out on limb here and assuming ABC, CBS and NBC have created a business model where by they "make" money, presumably by ads, every time a show is streamed.

    The more views the more money, correct?

    So why do they care if I use IE, Firefox, Orb, GoogleTV, etc.? Are they suggesting the more people watch the less they make? If so then why do they have this online business model at all?

    From the article Hulu is blocking viewing from Google TV as well. Again, what do they care if I use Opera, IE,
  • I saw a review linked from daring fireball and one of the things they noted was that various ad solutions didn't work right. I suspect this isn't the nature ofthe problem though.

  • We have passed the Iron Age, the electronic Age, and entered the information Age. We will look back upon this time as the turning point of entertainment distribution. Will Cable companies become Internet on-ramp companies or will they wither and die. I use UseNet for all my needs. A GBPVR system gives me all that, free radio, and a bag of chips. Will new networks arise? American Internet Corporation? National Broadcast Internet? What will it take to change the cash flow from broadcast advertising to
  • If I understand correctly then these companies are simply blocking the user agent string that the google tv browser uses. I have read that there is an advanced settings option that allows you to change the string, which should allow you to bypass their "block".
  • Suppose you were a company that had a set-top box that can access local media, pay-per-view, and free stuff, like youtube.com. Further suppose you had customers that wanted to PAY to subscribe to content, such as Major League Baseball. To anyone with enough functional brain cells to form a synapse it would seem logical that the content provider would make it easy for the company's set-top box to offer the subscription option to the PAYING customers.

    Not so, of course. For example, the execs at MLB want th

  • The browser on these set-top-boxes are generally close to a desktop browser anyway so just pretend to be a desktop browser and the sites cant block you.

    Although in the Google case, I think Google does NOT want to piss off the media companies by attempting to lie to web sites just so their Google TV boxes can download content the media companies dont want them downloading.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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