Is Google getting into the cable TV market?

Is Google getting into the cable TV market?

Summary: There's a rumor going around that Google Fiber might bring along a new TV service designed to compete with the cable companies.


We've known about Google's plans to deploy a high-speed fiber network in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri for a while now. But a Wall Street Journal report is indicating that when the network arrives in early 2012, it may come with an added surprise: a paid Google pay-TV service designed to compete with cable and satellite providers.

The WSJ story in question cites as its source the extremely ambiguous "people briefed on [Google's] plans." But if it's true, it seems that Google has been courting deals to carry television channels owned by major players like Disney, Time Warner and Discovery - thought no final deals have been reached and it's still in an exploratory phase.

As expected, none of the parties involved have opted to comment on what's still only rumor and speculation. But this would make a certain degree of sense given Google's overall video strategy. Google continues pushing the Google TV software despite a lukewarm initial reception, while continuing to partner with the major networks for commercial-supported content on YouTube.

Basically, Google is in a prime place to start offering a cheaper, online video-driven competitor to Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and DirecTV, the Kansas City area's main choices when it comes to premium television. It has the software platform and the means of delivering key content, and soon Google Fiber will mean there's going to be more than sufficient bandwidth in every home.

But just because it could doesn't mean that it will. And until Google issues any kind of official statement, I'm going to have to remain skeptical. But in the meanwhile, I have to ask: would you go with Google for your cable TV?

Topics: Google, Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Telcos

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  • RE: Is Google getting into the cable TV market?

    Depends on how Google packages it.
  • RE: Is Google getting into the cable TV market?

    I'm sorry, Google <B><I>doesn't</B></I> compete.

    They're dipping their filthy hands in markets to <I>disrupt</I>, not compete.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • When it comes to CableTV disruption is exactly what is needed

      @Cylon Centurion Cable TV companies have a court given MONOPOLY in most areas. Without disruptive competition, they will keep increasing fees as they please without any kind of control (just like today).

      When you move to a new place (no matter where), chances are you only have one and only one choice of cable tv. You could claim that satellite TV is a competing product, but in reality is not. Most apartment complexes prohibit satellite dishes and most landlords would not allow dishes due to multiple factors (HOA rules, damage to the property due to satellite installers always wanting to "milk" the job by installing unnecessary cables and additional junk, etc).
      • RE: Is Google getting into the cable TV market?


        Regardless, cable is a lost cause. Especially for poor college kids such as myself, who 1) Don't have the money and 2) are rarely home to watch it.

        Most TV today is such garbage that I simply refuse to pay for it. Anything I do watch, I can find online for free, or as a digital download.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Why would Google be any different?

        they would be subject to the same rules, so they'll raise their rates like everything else.
        William Farrell
      • RE: Is Google getting into the cable TV market?

        @William Farrell
        The difference is that if Google tries to do that then they have no shot at the market. So either Google will behave like cable companies and they'll die and we're back to where we were before. Or they'll give us better rates and if they somehow manage to overcome the huge lead cable providers have then it would force cable providers to compete also thus lowering rates for everyone.
  • RE: Is Google getting into the cable TV market?

    Living in an outskirt of Kansas City, you better believe I'd consider TV from Google. I'd do it, because I know that's the only way we'd see Ala-Cart programming from Time Warner and Comcast. Pathetic service offerings which simply fuel their double digit quarterly profits.
    I'm somewhat surprised that they would enter the market though. What I would hope (and suspect) they would do is provide 'leasing' of those fiber lines to other players, such as DirectTV, DishNetwork or other cable providers. Google does have deals with both Dish and DirectTV, so I don't think it's that far fetched. Besides, by letting someone else manage the 'TV' side of things, Google doesn't get drawn into the nightmare of regulation that comes with providing 'TV' to customers.
  • RE: Is Google getting into the cable TV market?