Is Google TV Back On For OZ As Google Chase Big Sport Content Deals

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Google who some people are claiming is attempting to ink a $300 million five-year deal for the international digital rights for Australia’s V8 Supercar series up against the Ten and Seven networks is believed to be keen to launch their Google TV platform in Australia 2013 despite issues over content.

SmartHouse has also been told that the search Company has seriously considered pitching for future NRL football rights.

V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane who has a reputation for pumping up the value of the rev head sport confirmed that he has held discussions with Google, however it is not known whether Cochrane approached Google or Google approach V8 Supercars.

Last two month two major TV brands LG and Samsung said that they were not going to launch a Google TV platform in Australia due to a lack of content and issues with configuring the TV’s to run in Australia.

The winning of of a major sporting event such as V8 racing which would be run on its Google TV service, would be a major win for the Company who want to expand the sale of adverting wrapped around premium in demand content which in Australia is primarily sport.

In the USA no figures have been released concerning Google TV’s penetration, but it is thought to be quite low. Major US TV operators NBC, ABC and CBS have refused to allow their services to be accessed by Google TV which has severely limited the service.

Both Google and Apple are set to go head to head in Australia as both Companies look to expand their cloud based content services that will deliver content to smartphones, PC’s and notebooks, tablets and in the future TV’s.

Establishing the Google TV platform has not been easy for the search Company, one maker of Google TV set-top boxes, Logitech, pulled out late last year after losing US$100 million on the project. However at the CES show in Las Vegas in January, Sony revealed that it planned to offer “Google TV-powered products”, presumably including TV sets and Blu-ray drives, in “several countries round the world in 2012”.

V8 racing is the fourth biggest TV sport in Australia  with V8 Supercars organisin a race supporting the Formula 1 later this year in Abu Dhabi and a new round next year at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas with more overseas rounds, up to a maximum of six, expected.

2013 will also mark an important change in the sport, with the commencement of the car of the future program, allowing the entry of new marques into the sport for the first time since 1993.

There is also the possibility that Ford could exit the Falcon market in Australia which if it happens will be a blow to V8 Supercars.

Currently all three commercial free-to-air networks and Foxtel are  who are looking to increase the value of their rights deals to around $300 million for the next five years. Representatives from both Nine and Ten were in attendance at the first round of this year’s championship last weekend.

Cochrane expects a 30 per cent increase is achievable, saying the value of rights to no major sporting events have gone backwards.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the arrival of Google TV and several other “hybrid” international TV platforms could be good timing for V8 Supercars as it expands its race schedule into North America and Asia.

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