Viacom joins list of networks blocking Google TV

Google TV has suffered another drawback with Viacom joining several other networks in banning content from the device.

The media conglomerate, which owns a number of television networks including Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon, blocked its TV shows from being broadcast on Google’s internet TV. Users looking to check out a TV show on any of these stations will now be greeted with: “Sorry, this content is unavailable for your device.”

This adds to a growing list of networks blocking content from Google TV, including ABC, NBC, and CBS. CBS owns Viacom, but until now several of its networks continued to allow content through on Google TV.

At the time other networks were banning content, which began last month, MTV indicated that it was weighing up its options. It is not clear if its decision to join the ban was one made within the network itself or an order from the parent company.

This leaves very few major networks still supporting the Google TV platform. Fox has yet to block its content, but it also suggested that it is considering it. 

Piracy is listed as one of the main reasons behind the blanket ban, with networks afraid that their content will be used through the internet sans advertising instead of the more profitable TV.

Tensions between Google and some of these companies are also likely behind the decision. Viacom and Google are on bad grounds, with the former suing Google over Youtube broadcasts of its shows in the past. Viacom wanted $1 billion in damages, but ultimately lost its case against Google.

The blocks suggest that Google may not have done the legal legwork it needed to do to secure support. It may need to go back to the negotiation tables and work out a deal, possibly including royalties of some kind. Failure to do so will cut off a significant stream of content from Google TV and effectively destroy what it was supposed to be.