Major broadcasters block content from Google TV

Google TV has encountered its first major glitch, with mainstream broadcasters blocking their TV programmes from being displayed on the new smart TV.

ABC, CBS and NBC have all blocked the TV programmes from their websites from being viewable on Google TV, creating mounting tensions between the media and Google, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The studios allow promotional clips to be displayed on Google TV, but full episodes of big hit TV shows like The Office, CSI, and Modern Family cannot be viewed, despite the fact that they can be viewed normally on the studio websites with a standard PC and internet connection.

The move effectively cripples part of Google’s aim, which was to marry TV and the internet so that users did not have to choose between either. Now, however, users who want to watch the episodes they’ve missed on the internet will have to go back to their PC.

The decision to block content is due to multiple reasons, including the threat of piracy which some of the studios believe Google has not sufficiently addressed. Some of the companies may fear that users will watch their shows on the internet instead of from the actual TV channels, since both can be accessed via Google TV. Others, like ABC’s owner Disney, have had public spats in the past with Google over not filtering out piracy links from search engine results relating to its TV shows.

Fox and MTV are not currently blocking their content from Google TV, but they indicated that they have not yet made up their minds, which could mean an even larger block of content from the platform in the weeks and months to come.

“Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owners’ choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform,” a Google spokeswoman said.