Media

Viacom blocks Google TV, the madness continues

The list of Google TV haters continue to grow. Viacom confirmed this morning that it is blocking Google TV’s access to its web video, which includes popular networks like Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon.

First reported by GTV Hub, the blockade puts Viacom in company with ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, all of which also decided to restrict Google TV’s access to their web video. When you visit any of the blocked sites with a Google TV device, you receive a note saying “the content is unavailable for your device.”

The move brings to mind Viacom parting ways from Hulu earlier this year. Viacom said in a statement that it’s continuing “to evaluate Google TV to identify opportunities where it may make sense to optimize our Web content for the platform.” On many of the network sites, Google TV users can still view short video clips, but full episodes are for the most part completely blocked.

It’s not surprising that Viacom would also give up on Google TV, given that Google won its court case against the media company earlier this year. The real question seems to be what took Viacom so long to finally go through with the content block.

As I’ve written previously, Google TV is a sea change in the way we approach television, so it’s not a huge surprise that traditional TV networks are wary of it. Some networks, including Disney and NBC, are also worried about Google’s approach to websites that offer pirated streaming video content, according to the WSJ. Disney execs were apparently unsatisfied with Google’s previous response to pirated video sites. Google, meanwhile, has tried to calm the networks by demonstrating how Google TV’s search promotes their own websites, as well as other options like purchasing an episode on Amazon’s video-on-demand service.

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