Marc Cuban’s Eye of Sauron

Sull comments more on Hulu on his own blog:

The audience would be directed to the proper Channels/Shows. On the web, obviously these would be domains/sites. On new interfaces built specifically for TV (i.e. GoogleTV, AppleTV, Roku etc) the concept of domains/sites does not exist and instead you just have a GUI to navigate and search for the channel and show you want to watch. Why would we need a “Hulu” to encapsulate the content and direct brands?

The future of TV does not require TV Guides or mulit-library destination sites like Hulu.

Something befuddling is that Every Major Network Site Blocks Google TV.

These are vendors who are already doing business on the web. Google TV is no more or less than a web environment optimized for content sites.

Obviously what these network sites want is for Google to do deals with each one of them in order to offer a portal to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and Vudu. Marc Cuban rants it this way:

I personally can’t think of anything stupider for the big broadcast networks to do than give their shows to Google for free. Why ? Because they are finally getting BILLIONS of dollars in retransmission fees from their distributors. This is new money. It is found money. It is money they are fighting for. Just ask Fox and Cablevision what they think of each other this week.

The idea that they would take and fight for money from their distributors, who generally are the same ISPs that Google TV delivers content over, and then offer the exact same shows for free through Google TV, or any aggregator that expects that content for free is probably one of the dumbest concepts ever.

Now if Google were to go to those networks and offer them money per month for every buyer of a Google enabled device or TV, that would be different. Then they would be a tv provider competing with the rest and they should take their money. Think Google will ever do that ? I don’t.

So giving the same content they not only charge their distributors for, but also charge their local affiliates for to Google for nothing or for a share of revenue ? STUPID.

Which is precisely analogous to Fox wanting royalties from Sony to play The Simpsons on Bravias, which would not actually be in Fox’s interest. How is it possible for the old school television business to not understand where Google TV is in the stack?

For example, each TV network might sell its own ads and keep the entire revenue, then take advantage of Google TV to grow their viewership. That’s how Google relates to web sites on a PC, why not on TV?

What Google really wants to do here is have third parties host the content and insert its own video ads in the playlist. In this vision there would be an ecosystem of content hosts that are spread all over the web, just like on the PC, and Google TV would be knitting them together, just like on the PC.

the eye of Sauron

But then again, this kind of thing usually loses in the media industries. Internet music businesses are usually full-service one-big-catalog shops like Rhapsody, and the customers never complain about that. The customers complain about other things, but not having to use a single vendor. Marc Cuban and Rupert Murdoch just keep getting richer. Their disinterest in how media products are supposed to fit into the internet doesn’t seem to be a problem.