ASPIRING STREAMING TV PROVIDER Google is not laughing as Viacom has blocked Comedy Central and its other channels the Google TV service.
Google TV is good in theory but the service has been hamstrung by some big media content providers not being willing to offer their network programming. The INQUIRER reported in October that Disney, NBC and Fox were refusing to stream their content to Google TV and now Viacom has also jumped on the anti-Google bandwagon.
According to gtvhub, Viacom has pulled its entire line-up as Comedy Central, MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon amongst others won't be available any time soon on the Google box. Apparently, if you try streaming that Viacom content from Google TV now you'll get a "sorry, this content is unavailable for your device" message.
We reviewed the D-Link Boxee Box last week, which is an open source connected TV that works in a similar way to Google TV. At the time the Viacom apps were still embedded in the Boxee menu and our reviewer had access to MTV Music and Comedy Central. But because they've blocked Google TV, the big media dinosaurs might block access to their content on Boxee as well.
There are a couple of agent fixes that circumvent the block put on Google TV by Fox and Viacom. However, it's unlikely they'll be out for long before both of the companies disable those fixes.
In a last ditch effort to show anything other than cats doing cute things on Youtube, Google is seeking the rights to show Miramax films. Of course, Google refused to comment on rumour and speculation but if the company can't bag Miramax, it will have only HBO and Turner TV on its side. µ