News Corp.’s Fox has joined broadcasters ABC, CBS and NBC in blocking access to full episodes of shows when searched from Google TV’s Web browser, according to a person at Fox familiar with the matter.
The move took effect Wednesday, about three weeks after other broadcasters blocked access. The delay was because Google TV had just launched and wasn’t in enough homes to be seen as a top priority, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Tech blogs had reported on the development earlier.
The Sony television that comes with Google TV software can still access networks like any regular TV, just not the online versions. The Logitech set-top box that comes with Google TV also does not interfere with regular TV signals.
Broadcasters want to block viewing over Internet-connected TVs because it is less profitable than regular TV.
There are fewer ads for online episodes, and cable and satellite TV providers pay broadcasters millions of dollars for the right to retransmit signals over their services. Allowing online viewing through sets in the living room could jeopardize the revenue that is generated from pay TV subscriptions.
Google reiterated a statement issued earlier when the other broadcasters blocked their online shows, saying “it is ultimately the content owner’s choice to restrict users from accessing their content on the platform.”