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Paidcontent came out with a zinger this morning with a shocking headline: Cable networks blocking BBC’s U.S. iPlayer aims:
paidContent understands U.S. cable networks are spooked that a U.S. iPlayer would hurt their TV service because it would carry shows aired by the BBC America linear channel, which they already carry to customers.
They have threatened to de-list BBC America from their TV services if iPlayer launches. That has forced BBC Worldwide to choose between the two big brands for its U.S. strategy. BBC America, which, unlike iPlayer, already exists in the States, has won out. In U.S. terms, it does not have a large audience footprint, but is nevertheless the BBC’s biggest U.S.-facing brand.
This has echoes of what Big Cable did to Google TV which I wrote about in 2010:
Walls were put up around Google's play for the living room yesterday when NBC Universal, CBS and Disney all blocked their content on Google TV, shutting down Google TV's access to online versions of their programs.
NewsCorp's Fox is also mulling over blocking Google TV owners from accessing their content online as well.
The Internet continues to shake up the value chain in television...