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Google TV to launch with content from Amazon, Netflix but not major TV networks [Updated]

October 4, 2010 | 11:48 am

Google's TV service, which will roll out this month on devices made by Sony and Logitech, will include content from Amazon, Netflix and Twitter as the Internet search giant attempts to merge Internet content with television programming.

"One of our goals with Google TV is to finally open up the living room and enable new innovation from content creators, programmers, developers and advertisers," Ambarish Kenghe, developer product manager for Google TV, said in a blog post.

The partnerships are the result of talks with the major TV networks and cable and satellite distributors. Noticeably absent from the Google announcement are the major networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

[Updated at 2:50 p.m.: However, Google and Hulu confirmed they are in talks to bring Hulu Plus to the platform. The $9.99 monthly subscription service would include current shows from ABC, NBC and Fox, whose parent companies all share a stake in Hulu. Hulu Plus also offers an extensive library of content that includes all past seasons of such popular shows as "The X-Files" and "Arrested Development."]

Among the partnerships: NBC Universal has teamed up with Google TV to create CNBC Real-Time, an application with which viewers can track their favorite stocks and access news feeds on the TV screen; HBO will have programming for subscribers on an enhanced website; and the NBA has built NBA Game Time, an application for viewers to follow game scores in real time and catch up on the latest highlights in high definition.

Google's television software, which it first announced in May, is being built into new Sony high-definition televisions and Blu-ray players and into Logitech set-top boxes that can be used with television sets. Google has pledged to make the software available to other manufacturers.

Google is banking that television will be a new venue for it to sell advertising. But to bring together television and the Internet in a meaningful way, Google must get the cooperation of media companies. And it must compete with Apple, TiVo, Boxee, Roku and other companies vying for a share of the five hours a day the average American spends watching TV.

-- Jessica Guynn

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