Posted November 22, 2010 9:35 am by with 10 comments

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If you recently bought a Google TV device, I hope you kept the receipt!

If you’re on the fence, then this might convince you that Google’s foray into set-top boxes is dead on arrival: Viacom just yanked access to its content.

Viacom has joined the ranks of NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS–all of which have blocked Google TV in some form or another.

Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon are just a few of the Viacom owned networks that bring up the dreaded “sorry, this content is unavailable for your device” when attempting to stream a full episode from their websites.

Try to access their full episodes and you’ll be greeted with this less than friendly message:

I guess my question to Google is: “Why did you not secure these partnerships before moving forward?” I mean, c’mon, you didn’t see this coming? You didn’t suspect that Viacom would wait until the last minute to exact a little revenge on you?

Should we call Google arrogant? It wouldn’t be the first time that label has been appropriate. For Google to  leave the comfort of its online playground–and expect the cable companies to play nicely–surely smacks of arrogance. You could argue that Google was naive, but there are too many PHDs in Mountain View for me to believe that theory.

Nope, the cable companies are scared of Google’s ability to de-value their traditional advertising model. This is their way of giving the search giant a bloody nose. They’re not going down without a fight!

  • I can’t resist a little shameless self-promotion here… I predicted this would happen back in mid-October! Thought it would be TWC first, but sounds like Viacom beat them to it. 😉

    • They are all scared they will eventually lose ad revenue. Good for them for not just bowing out!

  • mike

    Who didn’t think this was going to happen? There is still a ways to go before we get an “all in one” solution for watching content on our TV’s / CPU’s whatever. The problem is and always will be the people who control the content.

  • Cynthia

    I just bought a Blu-ray that was supposed to be Hulu enabled and now there’s some flap about that. I guess it’s just a case of the technology being too new. Everyone is rushing to market hoping to score without fully thinking through the ramifications of what they’re doing. The shame is that it’s the consumer who loses on this stuff.

  • People are looking at this wrong. Google TV’s objective is not getting content that you have access to on your TV already, it’s to bring content that is soley on the internet to your biggest screen in your house. YouTube is amazing on Google TV.

    So many times I’m in front of the TV with my laptop, monitoring both screens, and now with Picture in Picture, Google TV could probably replace my laptop in the living room habits.

  • Google seem to think that they can do what they want when they want. Guess this shows that they don’t always get what they want.
    Google remind me of a child in the sweet shop that kicks and screams until it gets what it wants.
    No sweets just yet Google.

  • The live network feeds are becoming irrelevant to millenials and younger generations. With the increased popularity of the perpetual rental model (Netflix) and streaming online (Hulu) you can now choose the content you want and when you want to watch it. The networks,cable providers, and satellite providers will certainly fight to protect their revenue stream. But the model is changing. They’ll have to join the game to stay relevant and part of the lives of the next generation.

    • Jeremy

      I have to side with Google here. I kind of wish they’d shut off access to Viacom and co’s websites from Google and put the same message up, if only for my own amusement.

    • MJR

      What happens when the free video experiment ends. The end of Hulu stories are making the rounds. The content owners giveth, AND TAKETH away.
      Cable is not going anywhere. There is a lot on the cable networks not available on the internet. It’s not the model that has to change, it’s the game and most people don’t come to play.
      Google’s big problem would seem to their lack of market research and it shows.