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Google's Over-the-Top Aspirations: Is the Online Giant About to Challenge Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Other TV Providers? NY Times

Google has met with major media companies and is considering entering the television fray, either offering a library of TV shows, along the lines of Netflix or Hulu, or streaming a bundle of live networks and on-demand shows, reports The New York Times.

The latter option would replace "the cable bundles that most households now purchase," the story says.

The report notes: "No deals are imminent. But Google’s recent meetings with major media companies that own channels are a sign of the newfound race to sell cablelike services via the Internet, creating an alternative to the current television packages that 100 million American households buy from companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable."

Google, which owns YouTube, declined to comment.

The piece adds: "Intel is hard at work on one such service and companies like Sony and Microsoft have previously shown interest in the same idea, called an “over the top” service because the channels would ride on top of existing broadband connections. They need support from the channel owners, though, and so far that has been tepid."

Google has tried to enter the TV business before. Its TV ad-buying system shut down last year, while talks in 2011 with TV networks failed to produce results, the story says.

"Broadband in the meantime has continued to become more popular and more widely available, spurring interest in alternatives to traditional television distribution," the piece adds.