Google Set To Offer Funding For TV Shows Like Underbelly

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Google is attempting to cuddle up to local TV stations and production Companies with the potential of local funding from the search giant for TV shows like Underbelly in the future.

The funding carrot is a Google initiative in an effort to cut content deals for their new Google TV offering which could be relaunched later this year on new Motorola set top boxes after the failure of Google TV version one last year.

Executives at Seven, Nine and Ten Networks in Australia have said that they have held discussions with Google recently re the supply of local TV content.

 It’s also emerged that Google may be prepared to part fund the networks productions in exchange for access to content. Insiders are tipping that Google will announce a programming fund shortly that local production companies could bid for?

Later this week Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is tipped to make TV executives an offer to engage with Google when he presents the MacTaggart lecture to an audience of TV executives on Friday night in Scotland.

Schmidt, who is  the first person from outside the broadcasting sector to deliver the MacTaggart lecture is expected to tell TV executives that “Google needs you” and that by working with Google they “together” can  realise a bright future.

In the past Google has faced an avalanche of legal actions from broadcasters and film studios over alleged copyright infringement.

Schmidt claims that good content drives search, and search drives advertising and that a relationship between Google and TV stations makes sense and that in the future they could become potential partners and, in the right circumstances, natural collaborators.

Currently Google is working with several overseas TV stations via revenue-sharing deals for content.

Google won over TV stations by developing a program, Content ID that scans the internet for pirated material. Content producers can then decide whether to remove those pages or leave them untouched and advertise against them; if they choose the latter option, they pocket all the associated revenue.

In 2009, Channel 4, BBC Worldwide and ITN were among broadcasting organisations agreeing a deal with YouTube allowing it to put ads around their content. Today, only one major lawsuit is outstanding with MTV and Paramount owner Viacom’s claiming $1bn for  “massive intentional copyright infringement”.

 

Late last year Google’s long-anticipated assault on television stalled when Google TV went belly up costing partners like Logitech and Sony millions in lost revenue and write offs.


Some are saying that Logitech was to blame because they priced their Google TV box at $249, it is now selling for $99. Users claimed that  Google TV was clunky and difficult to use.


The acquisition last week of Motorola Mobility could help Google, as Motorola is one of the biggest manufacturers in the world of set top boxes and move to deliver a low cost box which could sell in Australia for sub $199 complete with free content via the new Google TV offering.

 In April Google said they would spend $100m creating original content for YouTube with the Company now looking for opportunities in Australia.

 

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