The Google TV initiative, once perceived as a grave threat to the pay-TV industry, has been D.O.A. (see Can Google Be a TV Star?).
Now cable, in the form of TV Everywhere services, may be providing a new ray of hope — i.e., high-quality content — for the Web-centric platform.
Google TV apps for Turner Broadcasting System’s authenticated video services for TNT and TBS briefly appeared in the Google Android Market last week, before they were removed, tech site GigaOM reported.
Turner confirmed that work is under way to bring Internet video to multiple over-the-top devices: “We’re developing and testing across all platforms (including Google TV) on a regular basis,” a spokeswoman said. “However, we don’t comment on commercial launch plans.”
In some ways, this is a non-story.
Turner already said last fall that it was working to “optimize” its sites for Google TV, and corporate sibling HBO is offering access to HBOGo through the platform, for whatever that’s worth (see Google TV Tunes To Turner, HBO, CNBC, Netflix And Others).
Meanwhile, with Google TV’s browser and support for Adobe Flash, you should be able to access the video on TNT.tv/tveverywhere and TBS.com/tveverywhereanyway. (Note that Comcast uses Microsoft Silverlight for its own authenticated online-video services, which Google TV doesn’t work with — Comcast: Google TV Isn’t Compatible With Our ‘TV Everywhere’ Service.)
By working directly to integrate with Google TV, Turner primarily would gain placement on menus and make it easier for users to find content.
The broader story here is the ascendancy of the TV Everywhere model.
For cable networks, it’s a natural extension of the subscription model. It’s a lot trickier for broadcasters — which have blocked Google TV and other over-the-top services from tapping into their free material, because they’d prefer that people watch their ad-supported telecasts.
Right now, Fox is giving it a shot for its broadcast shows, with only Dish playing ball for now (see Who Else Will Show Up for Fox’s Walled-Garden Party?).
No other broadcaster is following Fox’s lead. Hispanic broadcaster Univision is gearing up for TV Everywhere, but that would be for the three cable networks it’s planning to launch next year (see Univision Preps ‘TV Everywhere’ Launch For Trio Of Cable Nets In 2012).
Follow me on Twitter: @xpangler