Google prepping pay TV service in Kansas City. Is it the start to competing with cable TV elsewhere?

Google prepping pay TV service in Kansas City. Is it the start to competing with cable TV elsewhere?

Summary: In addition to laying a high-speed fiber-optic network in Kansas City, Mo., Google is applying to offer that city's customers a pay TV service that puts it in competition with local cable TV providers.


Kansas City, Missouri, is apparently getting more from Google than a high-speed fiber optic network. According to the Wall Street Journal, the search giant is also applying to offer that city's customers a pay TV service that puts it in competition with local cable TV providers.

The service would be similar to the competition's -- live TV, on-demand offerings, and online access to shows -- and could be available within the next couple of months. In addition to needing approval from the Missouri Public Service Commission, Google also needs to finalize licensing agreements with broadcast networks.

Needless to say, this is Google's first foray into being a pay TV provider, but will it be the last? The company has indicated that it could roll the service out in other markets where it won't compete with Verizon's FiOS service. It has stated in the past that the Google Fiber experiment in Kansas City isn't a blueprint for a nationwide network, but if it wants to sell ads against video content, as the Journal suggests, a widespread fiber-optic network would be a good way to go about it.

Would you be interested in a Google pay TV service if it were available in your neighborhood? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section.

Topics: Hardware, Google, Mobility, Networking, Telcos

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  • great news

    now people can enjoy the best content enhanced by targeted ads and commercials. And thanks to google+ this will be the model for the future entertainment.
    The Linux Geek
    • More trolling...

      The content on TV and/or cable is neither the best nor commercial free. I turned off my TV service 3 years ago because the content was not interesting to me and the commercials had overtaken the content. And the price keeps going up for that junk!

      I know the telcos and cable companies do not have my best interests at heart. Google cannot be any greedier or more evil then them. However, motives and methods aside, Google does create some good services. Maybe they can provide some desperately needed competition in the market. That would be good for consumers!

      Now, as for you, The Linux Geek, get back under your bridge! Don't come back out until you have written, "I will learn how to make my sarcasm funny or witty." ten bajilliion times!
  • I've got a problem with pay TV as it is...

    I'm old enough to remember when cable first came around. There were no commercials because you paid a premium for cable. Now I have to pay to watch commercials then pay even more if I want "premium" channels.

    So if ads were pushed with my "<i>pay</i>" TV service, would the ads be unintrusive, would I still get commercials (yes, because the network I'm watching will still air them) and how much less would I be paying for my "paid" TV service?

    So far, I'm not feelin' it.
    • Amen!

      I, too, remember paying for cable without commercials.
  • Depends on what shows they get

    I would love an internet TV service, but it will depend on what shows are offered. Google has attempted this in the past but never got buy-in from major production companies and that is why it flopped.

    I think people want an internet TV option, but they won't go to it if the programming sucks.
    • Sucks?

      Since most of the content on TV and cable suck, how would they do that?
  • Here is why they stole SageTV for its users

    This is why google stole sagetv from its loyal users last year. Why develope tech when you can still it like apple does.
  • what about the "set top" box

    Cable tv is such a pain to use with their clunky so-called set top boxes.
    You buy a sleek new TV which comes with a well designed, fast, convenient remote control. To connect to cable you have to find a place for the outsize set top box; attach a few more cables, learn about a badly designed, poor performing remote, and then suffer the tedium, slowness, inconvenience, ugliness.
    You might hope that you could by now just buy a TV, connect it to the cable and enjoy - but no such luck ... engineering around the settop box is something that Google could do - but will they take the easy way out like all the others
    • The "set top" box is a revenue center

      Set top boxes should be a "standard" so that they can be incorporated inside the TV. But this will never happen, because remember, the Cable TV company gets to charge you $7 a month for the RENTAL of that box.
    • No STB ?

      Your wish will never happen until there are standards for digital viceo content. Google could not solve this problem without full cooperation from tv makers, as the real problem will be separating and decoding the 100's of channels.
      This is one of the reasons that fiber optics is almost a must for the present TV, Broadband internet, and Voip phone services which include video.
    • Another dumb move

      Google is in the process of buying the #1 maker of set-top boxes. To celebrate, they are announcing to the cable TV companies -- who buy millions of set-top boxes -- that Google is their enemy.

      The people running Google will deserve what's coming when it hits. It's just one colossally dumb move after another.
      Robert Hahn
  • Cable Co Response?

    What I am most interested in is the response from the established cable and internet providers in KC. Are they sitting on their butts waiting for google to walk into their territory and steal their lunch or are they responding to the increased competition and upgrading their own service?
    • Hopefully it lights a fire under them and their political pals

      More competition is always for the best. Cable has enjoyed their little monopoly ala-AT&T of old for far too long. The US is 15th in the world in broadband use and we basically invented it!

      There is too little choice and the price to performance keeps going up.
  • spamvertising

    If there are no spamming ads read - no ads at all, I would gladly pay for Google TV. My best guess at this time is those customers will be subjected to a barrage of advertising.

    In the UK, everyone has to pay the BBC a yearly fee for each TV in their home. They do not have ads (at least not anywhere like we do). I wished we could do something like that here.

    I know that I personally ignore mostly any ad trying to get my attention and make me empty my wallet, and if I want to buy something from you, I will ask if there is a deal on it. If not, I'll ask you again and again until you tell me yes.

    Most ads are deceptive or downright lies anyways. I don't trust any of them for anything.

    As for Google TV, they can most likely pass me up.
    • barrage of advertising...

      "My best guess at this time is those customers will be subjected to a barrage of advertising."

      TV watchers are already being subjected to a barrage of advertising.
  • Check your facts

    The Google experiment is in Kansas City, KS not Kansas City, MO.
    • Check your facts

      It was expanded to both:

      Before telling someone else to check their facts, be certain to check your own.
  • Goodbye Comcast???

    I'd welcome some local cable network competition. I'm dying from a thousand incremental price increases from Comcast here and there's no cable network competition.
  • The best cable service provider ever will be...

    the one company that allows the users to select and pay only for the cable channels they wish to watch. It would be "a la carte" service, and one which would, I'm sure, bring in the millions who do not want to pay for stations which they'll never watch or never wanted. People should be able to subscribe to their own channel line-up, and not from a few levels of channel lineups, most of whose channels are garbage and unwatchable. Right now, consumers are subsidizing many TV channels which have no right to even exist.
  • Google TV

    If competition brings in lower rates (for both cable tv and internet) then I'm all for it.