Wanna watch full episodes of your favorite shows from the networks' own Websites using your new Google TV device? Well, you can't, thanks to ABC, CBS, and NBC blocking their sites using Google's just-released platform.
You can probably figure out why. The big three can still sell a lot more advertising for their TV broadcasts instead of their online streams, so they have no interest in allowing easy ways for viewers to circumvent those commercials. Of course, if you record those same episodes with a DVR and fast-forward through those ads, it's apparently not as big an issue, but the networks seem to be digging their heels in to face this latest threat to their business model. Disney, which owns ABC, and NBC are also unhappy with how Google deals with (or doesn't sufficiently deal with) links to pirated content that shows up in its search results.
ABC and NBC are allowing Google TV owners to view episode trailers on their sites, and Fox hasn't blocked full-length episodes on its site -- yet. Cable channels like HBO and TBS/TNT have worked with Google to optimize their site videos for Google TV. Ironically, episodes on sites of some cable channels that the networks co-own, like Lifetime and CNBC, are still available to Google TV customers.
One thing we don't know is how many people have thus far tried to access full-length episodes via Google TV. Was it a sufficient number to be worth the PR hit the networks are taking from looking a tad oafish in blocking content?
[Via The Wall Street Journal]