Rishi Chandra from Google TV on Content Blocking by ABC, NBC and CBS : Broadcasters Misunderstand Product

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Rishi Chandra, Google TV's lead product manager, told a packed audience at the Streaming Media West conference, that broadcasters 'misunderstand' role of its online TV platform, after ABC, NBC and CBS blocked their content from the Google TV platform as soon as it was released last month. It's alledged that the heavyweight broadcasters axed their content from Google TV in order to discourage customers from cutting the cord from Cable - which generates huge income for broadcasters in highly complex carriage fee arrangments. Content copyright fees are heading towards becoming increasingly platform specific.

Rishi Chandra, Google TV's lead product manager, likened the broadcasters' payment requests to a network demanding fees from Microsoft Corp. so video would work on its Internet Explorer browser.

Is Google enhancing what's on TV already with Web content? Yes. Is Google TV is misunderstood as a tool to enable consumers to cut their cable or satellite TV subscriptions? No. Consumers will cut the cord. It's unstoppable - and not just because of Google -   Connected TVs and other platforms such as Yahoo Connected TV; Samsung Internet@TV; Philips, Sharp and Loewe Net TV, Sony, Toshiba and other platforms around internet connectivity and television are making their way to the market fast. And other TV industry-driven platforms being adopted in Europe and Asia  such as HbbTV and Youview in the UK. As we wrote earlier: Connected TV'S to reach 119 million in 2014.

It's the same discussion that Mark Cuban and I had recently on the same subject via his blog.

Mark: So giving the same content they not only charge their distributors for, but also charge their local affiliates for to Google for nothing or for a share of revenue ? STUPID.

Richard: Once again, what the content providers and distribution channels choose to charge on their inventory available on Internet Protocol (IP) is their own choice. Google TV is merely a gateway to the World Wide Web - they are not dumbing down the web for TV (like app-driven architecture such as CE manufactures (Samsung, Philips, Sharp, Panasonic, etc), and others (such as Boxee, Yahoo, Roku etc) are offering, they are empowering consumers to explore and make use of the Internet on the big screen in their living room... in it's full glory.

In a further telephone interview with Ryan Nakashima of the Canadian Press Chandra clarified his remarks to say that although Google TV would not pay to access online shows, another Google subsidiary, YouTube, could extend its advertising revenue-share model to the living room.

"The way we would pay for content is through a similar mechanism that we pay for content through YouTube," Chandra said in a phone interview with Nakashima. "This is the difference between Google TV and YouTube. YouTube is a service. Google TV itself is literally just a platform."

Chandra added that it's up to content providers to decide how much to charge consumers and that Google TV is meant to supplement the cable and broadcast TV business model by adding Web access. He also told the Canadian Press that Google TV is preparing to provide access to Hulu Plus, the $10-per-month online video subscription plan that allows users to access the back episodes of many current TV shows from News Corp.'s Fox, NBC Universal and The Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, such as "Glee," ''30 Rock," and "Modern Family."


About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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