Media

The real Google TV: Google preps fiber pay-TV service in Kansas City

Google is one step closer to launching a pay-TV service in Kansas City, Missouri — one of its fiber Internet testbeds — that would directly take on cable and satellite companies.

The company filed for a video franchise license in the city last week, the New York Post reports, a move that could give Google permission to broadcast content to televisions.

A Google pay-TV solution would give the company yet another source for advertising revenue. And unlike the current iteration of Google TV, which works in conjunction with your existing TV service, Google would have complete control of TV content (assuming it can bring aboard content partners).

We first caught wind of Google’s pay-TV ambitions in November, when the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was in talks with media executives from companies such as Time Warner, Disney, and Discovery. The service would run on Google’s high-speed fiber Internet service that’s now being tested in Kansas City, MO, and Kansas City, KS.

The pay-TV service could launch within the next few months, a media executive involved in negotiations told the Wall Street Journal. When asked for comment, a Google spokesperson told the WSJ, “We’re still exploring what product offerings will be available when we launch Google Fiber.”

If Google does move forward with a pay-TV service, don’t expect it to look anything like existing cable or satellite offerings. With its fiber network, Google has the potential to offer an a la carte service that lets consumers choose the channels they want. Expect on-demand services to be heavily integrated as well, just like Verizon’s FiOS TV service. And you can bet that Google will make it dead simple to watch TV on your computers, smartphones, and tablets.

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