On Monday, Google announced numerous content partnerships for its upcoming Google TV product line, but notably absent are top-tier media companies like the major TV networks. However, Google TV will launch with a number of Internet-based media services, as well as content from some second-tier TV and cable networks.
"We've been overwhelmed by interest from partners on how they can use the Google TV platform to personalize, monetize, and distribute their content in new ways," Google Developer Product Manager Ambarish Kenghe wrote in a blog post announcing the partnerships. "Many are choosing to further enhance their premium web content for viewing on the television."
So, there's no ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC. Instead, Google TV will launch with a slew of online services, both media-related and not—Amazon On Demand, Napster, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, and more—and a weird assortment of cable networks that aren't so much offering traditional video content but rather Google TV-optimized versions of their websites. These content providers include Turner Broadcasting, which is converting its websites for TBS, TNT, CNN, and Cartoon Network; NBC, which is bringing its CNBC Real-Time application to Google TV; HBO, which is porting its HBO GO website, and others.
Additionally, there are some news websites heading to Google TV—The New York Times and USA Today, for example—and Google promises additional content (which will be delivered through Google TV "apps") in the weeks ahead. Other capabilities include the ability to view photo slideshows and browse the "full" web.
Although the initial collection of Google TV apps might seem underwhelming compared to, say, your cable TV subscription, it's important to understand that this platform is competing with other set-top boxes including Apple TV, the Roku Players, WD TV, and even the Xbox 360. And compared with the variety of content available on those players, Google TV comes out well ahead, even at this early stage.
Unlike the competition, Google TV will be made available via a number of set-top boxes, HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and other devices, and will be sold by multiple companies. This could help Google establish its platform as a living-room analog of Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows on PCs. The first Google TV devices should ship in the coming weeks, Google says.
For more information about Google TV, please visit the new Google TV portal.