Nope, Fox doesn't want Google TV either

Google's hope of partnering with one of the broadcast networks on Google TV put on hold with Fox joining NBC, CBS, and ABC in blocking access to the software platform.

NBC, CBS, and ABC had already said no to Google TV, and today Fox Broadcasting made it unanimous.

Google TV enables users to view Web content on their living-room sets. Sarah Tew/CNET

News Corp.-owned Fox became the last of the broadcast networks to block full episodes of its shows from appearing on the software platform that enables users to view Web content and video on their home TVs, according to multiple sources with knowledge of Fox's move.

A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment.

Fox executives didn't reject the offering as soon as the other networks because it was evaluating the platform, the sources said. Now that the evaluation is over, the feeling at Fox was that Google's "footprint was too small," said one source, meaning that Google TV had yet to develop a large enough user base to make it worthwhile for the broadcaster. Fox also blocks Google TV competitor, Boxee , which also has struggled to develop a significant following.

Be that as it may, there's little doubt about why the networks rejected Google TV, which went live last month. They fear streaming Web content to viewers' televisions, will hurt existing revenue streams, such as ad-supported broadcasts or cable TV subscriptions.

The networks might be friendlier to Google TV if the company were willing to pay licensing fees, Rishi Chandra, Google TV's lead product manager, said at a tech conference last week. But Google paying licensing fees for Google TV would be similar to Microsoft charging people to ensure video worked on the Explorer Internet browser. Google won't do it although Chandra indicated that there might be some other way to compensate the networks.

The decision to block Google TV hasn't been very popular with some pundits and tech blogs.

"Imagine the protests that would ensue if Internet services arbitrarily blocked video only to Internet Explorer or Firefox browsers," wrote blogger and tech activist Lauren Weinstein. "Or if Hulu and the other networks decided they'd refuse to stream video to HP and Dell computers."

GTVhub.com appears to have been the first to report this story.

 

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