Google is planning to launch a web TV service by early 2017 and they have signed their first broadcasting content partner for the service. It is expected that the over-the-top market will heat up with the latest offerings from Amazon, Hulu, AT&T, and Google.
The key difference between these internet services from the earlier internet video services is the inclusion of much more live content. Most of the OTT services also offer On Demand programming, and Google has acquired the rights for all the contents of the CBS Network, including NFL games, to serve that purpose. Reports say that Google is also in talks with Walt Disney, who is the owner of ABC Network and 21st Century Fox.
It is expected that AT&T will launch DirecTV Now this quarter. They have pulled the programming deals of DirecTV to make an internet video service. Nevertheless, they have not yet finalized their deal with 21st Century Fox Entertainment and CBS. Where on the other hand, CBS is also marketing their own standalone direct to customer web TV service.
“The Google deal is understood to pay CBS a rate card premium to its traditional (pay-TV) services,” said Stifel analyst, Benjamin Mogil. He added that the deal does not include Showtime movies and TV shows. Experts also believe that AT&T will price their DirecTV Now service around 50 to 55 dollars, although the “Unplugged” service from Google might be priced a little lower than that.
Apple Inc. was also planning to launch a web TV service, but the project was dropped when the talks with the programmers stalled. Yet reports say that another reason was the cost sharing to distribute the service.
It should be noted that Google has made much advancement in their conversations with Comcast’s NBCUniversal to include NBC, Telemundo, and many of their cable networks for their streaming service. Despite the fact that negotiations are still going on, the news on Google bagging CBS content took the stocks of Google to 827.09 (a 0.7% hike), touching an all time high for the second day in a row.