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Hollywood Getting Nervous the Internet Will Undermine the Small Screen

Aug 18, 2010  •  Post A Comment

With Google promoting its new technology called Google TV, Hollywood television executives are nervous on a number of counts, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Google’s idea is to unleash television shows from networks by using TV sets equipped with a set-top box loaded with Google software that connects to the Web, or through their iPhones or other smart phones, the story says.

Some TV executives are worried that the Google service could do for TV what the Internet did to newspapers and the recording industry: gut its business model. For instance, viewers might decide to cancel their monthly cable or satellite service if they can watch TV shows free over the Internet, the story says.

And then there’s the question of advertising. Google is promoting an online-auction model that’s worked in its search business, but goes counter to how television advertising is sold, the article points out. Networks bundle prime-time hits with ratings-challenged shows so that the most popular programs help pay for the others, the story says.

But for the time being, Google needs Hollywood to help improve its service’s video search. "Right now, Google TV isn’t very effective in correctly identifying TV shows. In demonstrations with network executives, Google TV confused one network’s shows for a rival’s. On another occasion, it listed the several ways a popular prime-time show could be watched online and on TV — except on the network’s own website," the story points out.

10 Comments

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